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Security Tip: Use Wolfram Alpha to Create Strong Random Passwords

Using a tool like LastPass to generate and remember strong passwords is a great way to keep your online accounts secure. But if you want to create a strong password on the fly, without installing browser plugins, try Wolfram Alpha.

Create Strong Password with Wolfram Alpha

Head to Wolfram Alpha and type: generate password into the query field and click the Compute button.

generate password

Then you’ll be given a random strong 8-character password, additional passwords, the phonetic form of it, and a lot of extra information than you probably care to know.

Worlfram Alpha PW Results

To copy it, click the Copyable Plaintext icon and copy it to the Clipboard.

Copy

If you want something stronger than 8-characters, just change number of characters you want. For instance here I wanted a 16-character password.

longer password

If you want to control the strength of the password even more, click “Specific Password Rules” and specify the types of characters to use.

Specific PW Rules

If you install the Wolfram Alpha Chrome extension, generating a password is easier since you don’t need to navigate to the site first.

Chrome Extension

Wolfram Alpha is a powerful online service that often gets overlooked and forgotten. This is just one of the many groovy things you can do with it. While there is plenty to do with it for free, a lot of additional features require a Pro account.

Pro

Have some cool Wolfram Alpha tips or tricks? Shoot me an email or let us know in the comments!

3 Responses to Security Tip: Use Wolfram Alpha to Create Strong Random Passwords

  1. Bill March 27, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    But how in the world will you remember such a random password?

    • Austin Krause March 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Keepass, Lastpass, or another password manager.

      But you’re right. These passwords are way too complicated and not anymore secure than a password using a phrase.

      For example:

      L23Jbe5U9AxZ21 is 64 bits of entropy (difficulty to crack) but something like “password for my gmail account” is 113.8 bits (even though it doesn’t use special characters or upper case letters) because it is so long.

      Long and easy to remember passphrases are much more secure than a random jumble of letters and numbers.

      XKCD has a relevant comic on this, and I love the quote:

      “Through 20 years of effort, we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess”

      http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/password_strength.png

      Steve wrote great advice on this in 2011: http://www.groovypost.com/howto/create-easy-remember-secure-strong-password-phrase/

    • gabba April 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      last pass

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