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Is your password easy for hackers to crack? If you make a complex password, how are you supposed to remember it? These apps will upgrade your security with new strong passwords that you can update across accounts quickly.
The standard advice when it comes to password security is to use a good password manager. And yes, this is convenient and useful for most everyday cases. But password managers aren’t enough to keep you safe, and certain accounts (like your online banking or email) deserve more security.
That’s where these apps help. Using different methods, you can create a strong password that you can remember later, test just how secure it is against your current password, and finally update major apps and services with your new passphrase.
1. Strong Password Generator (Web): Strong but Memorable Passwords
If you don’t know how to make a strong and secure password, let the internet do it for you. Strong Password Generator (SPG) will create a unique and hard-to-break password for you, depending on your requirements. More importantly, it will help you remember the password.
This web app has been around for a while now, and earned plaudits and recognition from several security experts. It goes with five basic parameters that make a strong password: at least 15 characters, and a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Use the advanced settings for the generator to change aspects, like employing only simple punctuation and avoiding programming punctuation.
SPG advises three different ways to remember the password, as advised by security experts. The generator also has a phonetic word generator, which gives you a phrase with English words to try and memorize the password. Try it out, it’s one of the features that makes SPG one of the best online generators for strong random passwords.
2. Correct Horse Battery Staple (Web): XKCD-based Password Generator
You’ve probably seen this one before. In six panels of a comic strip, XKCD showed how a randomly generated long password is better than a string of gibberish because it’s harder for machines to beat while being memorable for the maker. This web app puts that formula into action.
Correct Horse Battery Staple is named after the random phrase used in the original comic. The password generator lets you choose:
- The minimum number of words in the passphrase (2-10)
- The minimum character length of the full password (10-40)
- Punctuations to use as separators between words (optional)
- Making the first letter of each word uppercase (optional)
- Appending a random number to the end of the list (optional)
Based on the chosen settings, you’ll get a randomly generated strong password. The trick then is to create a fun scene in your head that lets you remember these four random words as part of one password. Or you could simply write it down in a very safe place that no one else has access to.
3. Diceware Passphrase (Web): Super Secure, Complex Passphrases
There are plenty of good reasons to use a password manager. But you still need to create a master password that is more secure than anything else, since it is the key to all your accounts. Diceware is one of the most trusted methods to create strong, long passphrases that you can remember but machines will find greatly difficult to hack.
Here’s how it works. You’ll need a standard dice and the full Diceware word list from the website. Diceware assigns English words to groups of 5-digit numbers. For example, 56322 means synod, while 21123 means clio. Roll the dice and note the numbers you get.
Diceware recommends a minimum of six words, which means you need at least 30 rolls. Divide the rolls into 5-digit numbers to get your six words from the master Diceware word list. Memorize the numbers, not the words, and if need be, keep the number combination in a safe place.
It can sound a bit complex and intimidating at first, but the combination of long character counts and randomized words results in passphrases that are difficult to hack or guess. Several security experts use the Diceware method and recommend it.
If you browse around, you will also find alternatives to the official Diceware website that make it easier to create similar passphrases with other word lists. If you don’t want to stick to the original, please ensure you use a list from a trusted source like the EFF Dice-Generated Passphrases.
4. Password Meter (Web): How Strong Is Your Password?
Use any of the methods you want, but once you create your password, you’d want to test it against your current password. Try out both at Password Meter, which tests the strength of passwords on various parameters.
Apart from the basic requirements of eight characters with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, there are myriad other metrics. For example, consecutive lowercase letters diminish the value.
On each parameter, a symbol indicates whether your passphrase exceeds, meets, or does not meet recommended settings for strong passwords. It’s a simple little app that can tell you where your password is vulnerable to attacks
5. Update Your Pass (Web): Quickly Update Passwords Across Sites
If your password has been compromised in a security breach in one site, and you use the same password on different websites, it’s best to change it everywhere. In any case, periodically changing the password is good security practice.
The password-changing page is often not easy to find, hidden in Settings, the “Forgot Your Password” link, or other places for such a service. Update Your Pass gives direct links to change the password of several major applications and services. Click the link, change the password, and come back to go to the next service.
Naturally, you won’t be using all the websites listed here, so Update Your Pass makes it a bit easier to filter those that matter to you. Select the ones you use by clicking on them, and click “Save This Website” to create a list of favorites. These will be stored through browser cookies for the next time you want to update passwords.
What’s the Best Password Manager?
These ultra-secure passwords are ideal for digital accounts that really matter, like online banking, email, and places where you store personal data. But for the odd random signup, you don’t really need them. A simple password manager is the better option then.
So which is the best password manager today? It depends on where you plan to use it, and whether you’re looking for free or paid options. But we have all that covered in this article.