Friday, February 1, 2019

4 Reasons Why You Should Use a Password Generator in Conjunction with a Password Manager

Passwords are complicated. Ideally, you are supposed to have a long, random and complicated password complete with letters, numbers and special characters. Unfortunately, if you forget the password—and chances are high you will thanks to the complexity—then you get locked out of your account.
On the other hand, if you opt for a weak and memorable password, then a hacker using brute force can easily hack you, get into your account and steal whatever he/she wants.
With those two options out, you might decide to memorize a complicated password and use it for all your accounts. Again, this has a weakness because if a hacker manages to guess that one password, then they have access to all your accounts; from banking accounts to social media and email.
That raises the question, what should you do? A good solution is to consider getting a password manager and a password generator.
What is a Password Generator and Manager?
A random password generator can either be a software or a hardware device that automatically generates a random password based on an input set of random characters. For example, based on an input set of characters A-Z, numbers 1-9 and all the special characters, it can generate a password such as gA"Z84>%2zQAKJ) `.
The longer the password, the more complex it is and the harder it is to hack through brute force—brute force is random guesswork until one gets the right password.
A password manager, on the other hand, is an app or program that manages these random passwords for you so that you do not have to labor remembering them. It stores the passwords in an encrypted vault, and you need a master password to access the vault.
To facilitate even more security, when typing in the master password, it is impossible for anyone to use a keylogger to determine what you are typing or even see what you are inputting over your shoulder.
You can purchase or download a password generator as a single entity, but more often than not, a password manager also has a password generator component.
Now that you fully understand what a password manager and a password generator are, it is essential to look at some of the reasons why you should be using the two.
1. A Password Generator Generates a Strong Password That Difficult to Hack
As noted above, a password generator generates a completely random password. With a random password, the only way of hacking it is through brute force. That is because there is nothing in the random password that can track back to you.
It is unlike a weak non-random password that often has elements that a hacker can deduce by digging into your life. A good example is a password that contains your date of birth. A hacker can use your social media accounts to determine the date of birth.
When brute force fails, as it often does with long, random, and unique passwords, then it follows that you are incredibly safe.
2. A Password Generator Ensures You Have Unique Passwords for Each Account
Statistics indicate that an average person has 7.6 active social media accounts. When you add banking accounts, emails, and anything else they might subscribe to, for example, Amazon or The Washington Post, then that number shoots to over 30 accounts per person.
A password generator will generate a unique password for each of these accounts ensuring that even if a hacker manages to get access to one, all the rest are safe.
3. A Password Manager Eliminates the Need to Remember Passwords
As noted above, remembering passwords is not easy. A password manager will store countless passwords, and every time you need one, all you have to do is retrieve the password.
That means even if you spend years without using a particular account, you will never get locked out of it because when the time comes to access the account again, all you have to do is look up the password.
Moreover, password managers are incredibly safe as they are essentially a vault. As a result, no one can access the list of passwords.
4. A Password Generator Ensures You Will Be Able to Comply with Password Requirements
Password best practices indicate that you should change your passwords one to two times per year. A piece on Business Insider shows that some experts recommend every 30 to 45 days. Either way, the consensus is that you should not hold on to a password for a long time.
The only way to ensure you change your passwords regularly and that those passwords are unique and just as secure is to use both a password generator and a password manager.
Moreover, most sites these days have some password requirements. Some will say that you mix small and capital letters, include numbers but no special character. Some accounts will require a special character.
The only way you can comply with such demands and still have a random and unique password is to use a password generator.
Final Thoughts
Clearly, a password generator is a necessity if you are to have strong passwords and avoid hackers. However, beware that you need to do your research before selecting a password generator or manager.
Ensure that they have a good reputation and that the technology behind both the password manager and generator is sound. For example, consider a password generator that uses all the known characters. At some point, it is bound to produce aaaaaaaa simply because it is one of the options.
A good password generator should ensure such options will not show up.

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