Wolfram Alpha terrifies me, in all honesty. It’s like SkyNet combined with Google, and we know all about those two things – they will eventually take over the world. (Yes, one of them may be fictional, but you get what I am saying, I hope.)
However, one of the niftier things that Wolfram Alpha has to offer these days is its ability to generate passwords for all your favorite services. Let’s take a gander at just how this works.
Submit To Your New Internet Overlord
There are a variety of ways to generate a password using Wolfram Alpha. First off, you can jump on the website and simply type in “password” or “generate a password” as your inquiry – easy as pie, right? After that, you’ll be given several randomly generated passwords with an option to change the amount of characters desired. This is fairly easy for basic passwords.
Alternatively, you could also type in something like “9 character password” for your inquiry, and sure enough, Wolfram Alpha will go ahead and generate a password with the requested amount of characters. Granted, there isn’t as much flexibility with this first option as it seems fairly locked onto the amount of characters that you initially request, but at least it’s functional, right?
These first two options are filed under Wolfram Alpha’s “typical password rules”, and they are fairly useful for your typical run-of-the-mill password-protected websites. However, occasionally you’ll run across a service or site run by companies that want very specific types of passwords that require a certain amount of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers (like Apple, for instance). That’s fine and all, but you can realize how frustrating that can sometimes be!
Fortunately, Wolfram Alpha knows your pain (and as intelligent as it is, I think that you can take that statement literally). After receiving your results for your password request, you may notice a statement on the page that says “Assuming typical password rules”. Right next to it is another statement that says “Use specific password rules instead”. Click it, and you’ll be treated to an entire menu that allows you to generate passwords that will fall in line with whatever service or website that you happen to be using.
Understand Your Sacrifices
You have to understand that Wolfram Alpha’s website password generation tool is truly random. No longer are you using the family pet’s name for your password, and it definitely won’t be as easy as leaving your router’s account information as “admin” and “password”. It’s great that you will have that added layer of protection, but at the same time, it’s going to be a little hard to remember.
One tool that Wolfram Alpha provides is the phonetic form of each password that it generates. For instance, a password that it is “btZ7GWEK” would be be “bravo tango zulu seven golf whiskey echo kilo”. That’s all good and well, but at the same time it would be very hard for me to remember. Furthermore, some of them are even capital letters, and that is tough to recall.
What I suggest in this case is to either work very hard at remembering the phonetic alphabet or come up with your own memory device for each character. That’s the trouble with randomly generated passwords. Normally, when we create our own passwords, we use verbal elements that would be easy for us to remember because they matter to us in real life. However, that’s not the case with Wolfram Alpha.
The benefit of Wolfram Alpha is the fact that it generates very secure passwords. Unfortunately, the sacrifice is that you may have trouble remembering them. Write it down if you need to, but make sure you keep it safe.
So there you have it! You can now use Wolfram Alpha to come up with passwords that add an extra layer of security to your Facebook, your Twitter, or even your Google accounts. Try it out, and let us know if it was easy enough to work with.
What other methods do you use to come up with passwords? Have you ever used Wolfram Alpha for password generation before reading this article? Has it been useful?