Technology has just about almost everything. Nowadays, social media is the talk of the town, and the number of activities taking place online is on the rise. In fact, it’s so rapid that almost everyone at one point has an account online.
Perhaps, each website that you visit will ask you to create an account. Most probably, there are several accounts that you need to manage online. Unfortunately, the risks of using one password across all your accounts are too heavy to handle. The reason being, a breach in one site might risk losing all your other accounts.
But you can’t surely memorize all the passwords for several accounts, can you?
So, what do you do?
Fortunately for you, installing a password manager is the best way to go about it. A password manager will help you to store as well as improve your passwords.
One thing about passwords is that you need to have long, strong, and random passwords to be sure that indeed your password can’t be easily cracked.
But where will you get such long, strong, and random passwords?
There’s no denying that to come up with a long, strong, and random password is not a walk in the park. However, your work can be made easier thanks to several types of random password generator tools.
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What’s a Random Password Generator?
This is merely a hardware device, a software program, or an online tool that generates passwords automatically using parameters you set. The combinations that you can set include; numbers, mixed-case letters, and symbols.
The good news is that there are a plethora of such password generator tools in the market that you can choose from, such as the PrivacySavvy Password Generator.
3 types of random number generators help to make the new passwords:
- True random number generators
- Pseudorandom number generators
- Cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generators
The passwords generated don’t have any trends or patterns, simply because they are absolutely random.
In fact, it’s easy to say that randomly generated passwords are not as random as they might seem.
So, are password generators random or not?
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What makes Passwords “Random”?
One thing is for sure if you use a random password generator tool several times (say 5, 10, or 100 times) maintaining similar parameters, the chances of the generator creating the same result twice are almost close to zero.
That’s because the process is supposed to be “random”, which means that the results are to be unpredictable, and won’t follow any set pattern. In fact, the previous result does not have any effect on any of the subsequent outcomes.
Unfortunately, the results that you’ll see won’t really be random, but instead, they’ll only appear to be random.
What does that one mean?
Ideally, randomness is non-deterministic; therefore, it means that you won’t be able to define exactly what will happen based on the previous information.
Are we having a similar idea to that of rolling dice?
Absolutely! Now, just like rolling dice, for instance, if you could have the inch-perfect “initial setup” of it (the weight, dimensions, amount of force to be applied on the dice, distance and speed traveled before it lands, the contours of the surface it will land, etc.) then it’s easy for you to tell exactly where it will land.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell exactly a dice’s initial setup, therefore, it means that it’s non-deterministic. It’s a similar principle to all the other games of chance, such as shuffling cards and the lottery.
So, how does it happen?
The tools have a program known as a pseudo-random algorithm that starts with a number known as a seed. Once the algorithm processes the seed, it comes up with a new number that does not have a traceable connection with the old. Now, the new number becomes the seed and the original seed will never show up until every number comes up.
Unfortunately, theoretically, a skilled hacker can possibly determine the algorithm used, and with that information and the seed, then they can replicate the random number sequence. Fortunately, that’s an extraordinarily unlikely hacking scenario.
Do Password Managers Reduce Randomness?
Literally, password generators don’t return random numbers. Instead, they come up with a chain of characters, incorporating random numbers to select from available character sets.
As a rule of thumb, you should always ensure that you use all the available character sets, unless only when creating a password for a site that doesn’t allow the special characters.
For instance, you’ll be allowed to choose from a pool of 26 lowercase letters, 26 uppercase letters, and 10 digits. Moreover, it can include several special characters that could vary from one another.
Let’s have this example; if you have to choose from say 18 special characters, then in a random password, you’ll have 80 possibilities (26+26+10+18) for each character.
Now, if it’s an 8-character password, then you have 80 to the eighth power of possibilities (1,677,721,600,000,000) – that should be a tough one, right?
Unfortunately, since only 8 characters are required, anything random can come up, say like; “12345678” or “dddddddd” as it’s likely just like any 8-character sequence. However, some password generators, actively filter the output, meaning such passwords are not a possibility.
Don’t Be Limited to Your Passwords!
Some sites have requirements that may shrink your password pool, especially when you’re required to use all the available character sets.
Therefore, to avoid such a thing, you need to set your password length high. With a long enough password, it’s negligible to force all the set characters.
Others have limits to reduce the pool of possible passwords unnecessarily. For instance, some could specify that you use a specific number of characters from every character set; that way your pool is drastically reduced.
However, whichever their rules could be, ensure that you only set a high password length to help you offset such a problem.
So, the solution is simply to go long.
Besides, you don’t have to remember all those passwords, so why not let them be huge. Unless the site has a limit, don’t limit yourself.
Remember that the bigger the search space, the longer it takes for a brute-force attack to maneuver your password.
You want to try and see how long it can take for a hacker to crack your password? You only need to do it on the IsItWP password generator tool; it definitely has it all (nothing done here that leaves your browser ever).
So now, how do you come up with strong, secure, random passwords? It’s quite simple – make them long.
Unfortunately, some password generator tools reject passwords that do not have all the character sets, others reject passwords with the embedded dictionary words, others don’t accept passwords with ambiguous characters such as I and 1. Such restrictions limit your pool for possible passwords, which you can only offset with a long enough password.