The short answer is that it is safer to have a password generated by an online random password generator than to use a password even a toddler or weak hacking software can figure out. But the longer answer is a little more complicated.
The concept behind online password generators is noble and they definitely help you create strong passwords. Some, like RANDOM.ORG’s password generator, only allow you to customize the length of your new password, while others like PasswordsGenerator.net let you include or exclude various characters and even provide tips on how to create strong passwords on your own. However, the greatest advantage of these online programs is that they are all available for free – unless they possess an advanced version, which is very rare.
That doesn’t mean that the use of online random password generators only has benefits. The most visible inconvenience regarding this kind of software is that you are still forced to copy and paste the freshly generated password into its relevant place and there is no way the password is going to be saved once it is ready for use – unless it is stored by your browser.
The Risk of Password Generators
But by far the biggest concern is that unlike password managers – which guarantee the safety of all your passwords – it is never sure whether the company of the password generator will know your new password or not. In other words, the password generator may be using the HTTPS communications protocol that most secure sites do, but it is far from the bank-level encryption password managers are equipped with; as such if the password generator’s site is compromised, the passwords you have created using the free online service might be stolen and be decrypted with relative ease. And just to clarify just how big this concern is, even the aforementioned RANDOM.ORG password generator discourages users from creating passwords with these online tools and then use those passwords at places containing highly sensitive data.
How to Keep Generated Passwords Safe
However, that doesn’t mean you have to entirely avoid the use of online password generators. The easiest way to never expose your passwords is by surfing the web in incognito mode or taking the advice of security experts and creating passwords that are complex but still easy to remember. An even better solution is to use free online password generators provided by the very same companies that develop password managers, such as LastPass or Dashlane. Not only do these programs provide all the benefits of a regular online password generator (e.g. fully customizable strong passwords), but it is also guaranteed that neither your internet service provider nor the developer of the software will know what kind of password you created.
Speaking of password managers, it is highly recommended to use this kind of software instead of a random password generator: such a program works on multiple platforms (via online syncing), often includes a built-in password generator and, like its name suggests, it is capable of storing all your secure passwords in the cloud without the need to memorize each of them. They even encrypt all data entered into them, therefore adding an extra layer of security that online random passwords generators just can’t.
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- Is a Password Manager Safe?
- Is a Password Manager Worth It?
- Is it Safe to Use Random Password Generators?
- Should I Use a Password Manager?
- What Is a Password Manager?
- What to Do If Your Password Manager Is Hacked?
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- Which Password Managers Have Been Hacked?