A secure password is one of the most important parts of keeping yourself safe while browsing the web. Most people now have so many online accounts that without a strong password they could quickly find themselves on the receiving end of a cyber-crime.
The problem is that it’s no longer suitable to merely use your pet’s name with “123” tagged on the end (though at least that’s not as bad as “password”, “baseball”, and “dragon” – all of which were in the top ten most common passwords in 2014).
On the flipside, it’s nigh-on impossible to remember a random series of numbers, letters, and special characters, especially for every site that you have an account with. You have to have some kind of system in order to keep your sanity.
Perhaps the solution is to use a password generator that creates credentials to match who you are? Read on for our definitive list…
For Kids: DinoPass
Childhood isn’t so innocent anymore; kids have online accounts for almost as many services as adults.
Unfortunately, because they’re kids, they don’t have the same mental ability to either create random passwords or remember them. The last thing you want is your child using “mickeymouse1” for their accounts.
DinoPass comes to the rescue. Its core mission is to generate passwords that are both secure and kid-friendly. A few clicks on the generate button gave me “superhippo57”, “jollyghost61”, and “pinksloth83” – all secure, but also fun and easier to remember for children.
There’s also an option to create more secure passwords that use a special character. “lumpySh3£p23”, “mu)dyBrain98”, and “$martRock57” were the first three that I was offered.
For Forgetful People: xkcd Password Generator
We all forget things in our lives. While for most problems this can be easily solved by using a note-taking tool or a reminder app, for passwords it’s not so easy. You should never keep a physical copy of your passwords anywhere, least of all on an insecure app on your phone – what happens if you lose your device or it gets stolen?
According to an xkcd comic strip that was published back in 2011, the now-commonplace password theory of choosing a base word then adding numbers and special characters is flawed. They allege that such passwords are difficult for humans to remember, but easy for computers to crack.
They suggest the solution is using a random sequence of actual words instead. In their strip, they use the example of “correct horse battery staple”.
This generator makes use of their theory. The first three passwords offered were “captain shape cloud serve”, “widely prize standard gently”, and “bowl solar brave pattern”.
Symantec in a post on common password myths says that having spaces in your password is okay for many systems including Windows. Now, you can probably come up with your own fairly easily.
For “Disgusting” People: Passweird
According to their site, the logic behind Passweird is to create a password that is so “so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it.”
In practice, the passwords weren’t quite as bizarre as the site’s somewhat grandiose statement would have you believe – though they weren’t exactly pleasant either. “$CRAtchyco0CH748”, “h4IRYH01e2=45”, and “EXP1ODinGB0iLs37%4” were the first ones offered.
More importantly, all the site’s offerings were clearly secure, using a good combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Special characters aside, they are also memorable – no one could forget a password based off “fresh zit” (FrE$hzit3`57) in a hurry.
For Non-English Speakers: Random Spanish Password Generator
If you’re reading this in the United States, there’s a good chance that you speak Spanish. According to Wikipedia, there are 37 million Spanish speakers now living in the country, of which a little under half speak English “less than very well”.
In fact, with more than 400 million people speaking Spanish as a native language, it is second only to Mandarin in terms of native speakers worldwide.
If you’re one of these people, it’s perfectly reasonable that you’d want a password in your own language. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, having a password in a foreign language is a good guard against spying partners and friends guessing your credentials.
Random Spanish Password Generator offers both fake word and common word options, as well as the standard fare of passwords which use real (Spanish) words as a foundation.
The first three common word passwords were “filete ordeno hijos abril software”, “rose piratas crecen crei grupos”, and “puerco estuve jeffrey debbie reconoce”.
For Brute-Force Aware Security Geeks: CodeThing
Taking the foreign language aspect a step further, how about using an entirely different alphabet?!
It should help to protect you more thoroughly against “brute force” password cracking – whereby computers will try to decrypt a specific password by trying every possible key in as short a time as possible. Such systems will rarely try any non-Latin characters.
CodeThing is one such generator. The site provides an option to use characters from the Russian Cyrillic alphabet instead. Outputs included “????????”, “????????”, and “????????”.
Just don’t ask us how to type in Cyrillic on a Latin keyboard (or how to pronounce the words).
For Individual People: LittleLite Password Generator
While no two passwords should be the same, and by their nature they are highly-unique, that’s not enough for some people.
If you want to tweak and customise your password until you’re blue in the face, try LittleLite Password Generator. Instead of just loading up the site and clicking “generate”, you’re given a range of options.
For example, you can choose how long the password is, whether it contains spaces, whether it should contain uppercase letters, and so on.
I enabled all the options and set the length to 15 characters. The first three offerings were “^ 4X2q8 : 4 EO+”, “5^.L,Fr T4358R$”, and “g c7 2 Eh #6&2L”.
What Have We Missed?
Are password generators even a good idea? There is research that suggests that using pre-formulated algorithms aren’t actually as secure as they appear to be.
What person-specific password generator sites do you know about? Have you used any of the options we mentioned? As ever, leave us your thoughts, feedback, and opinions in the comments section below.
Image Credits:touching his head by gosphotodesign via Shutterstock