Are Random Password Generators Safe?

2020-05-14 - 4 min read

Passwords remain our first line of defense in the battle against cybercrime. For businesses and individuals alike, strong login credentials mean secure networks, accounts, and databases. With that in mind, internet users are becoming increasingly aware of the dos and don’ts of password safety.

It’s basic best practice to use complex passwords, stringing together letters, numbers, and symbols to improve security. To make this easier, many turn to online password generators to produce genuinely random login details. But are these services safe, and is there a better way to secure your passwords?

Why are passwords important?

Passwords are the keys to our online lives. Our private messages and inboxes, our digital shops and retailers, and our banking applications all depend on them. We rely on login interfaces to maintain security, and the essential mechanism here is the password we choose.

Before we look at the merits of random password generators, here are three simple and effective steps you can take today to reduce the risks of weak login details.

  • Length matters: a long password will usually be harder for hackers to bypass. Eight is recommended as a minimum, but in this case, bigger is better.

  • Create a different password for every online profile to avoid one successful hack spreading to all your accounts.

  • Avoid any recognizable pattern in passwords. That includes simple numerical sequences, dates, words, and names.

Why use a password generator?

A strong password should be long, complex, and completely random. That means avoiding names, dates, and obvious symbol substitution: “John1995” and “[email protected] are out.

Bearing in mind the importance of long randomized character strings, it makes sense that many are now using online password generators. These services can produce as many potential passwords as required and might be a useful security tool for some.

But is this really the best way to protect yourself online?

Are password generators safe?

There are three reasons why a free online password generator might not be the security solution you’re looking for right now.

  • Weak on-site encryption

The first issue arises from the protection offered on the sites themselves. While most will conform to basic security standards, these web apps are not built with high-level safety protocols in mind.

As a result, accessing such sites on an unsecured connection – public Wi-Fi, for example, or even your home router – could leave you exposed. Your activity might be visible to hackers who are already watching or scraping data from the page.

If a password is visible when it’s generated, it’s not necessarily secure, no matter how long and complex it is.

  • How random is randomized?

It’s also worth remembering that not all password generators are created equal. Depending on the kind of software they rely on, some may be producing less “random” passwords than others. True randomization in an algorithm is not so easy to achieve, so some patterns might still emerge.

Another related issue is the importance of having a unique password. Understandably, a generator won’t store a log of the “random” details it’s already produced. That means there’s a possibility someone else using the same service might also receive an identical password. The chance of that happening increases if the randomization relies on a set of recurring patterns.

  • Complexity and memory don’t mix

On a practical note, randomized passwords are hard to remember, especially if (as you should be) you’re using a different one for every occasion.

When you end up getting locked out of your email or social media, you might be tempted to pick a simpler option in the future. It would be easier to remember — but also easier to crack.

These generators have the right idea, but for real security, you need something more. You need a password manager.

Generate passwords safely with NordPass

There are two ways to store passwords. You either remember them yourself, or you get a password manager.

NordPass is a new generation password manager that provides a secure and easy-to-use interface. Offering a streamlined solution to the problems we’ve covered, the service improves safety and removes unnecessary stress. Here's how it works.

NordPass generates your passwords with as many characters as you want. Combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, you can rely on genuine randomization.

The creation process is completely secured by encryption, lowering the risks you might face with an online generator. It also ensures that each password is truly unique, so there are no concerns about an overlap with other users.

Having produced a password, the manager stores it in an encrypted digital vault, encoded with layers of security. You don't need to remember your new login details, because NordPass will do that for you. Once you’ve logged into the service, it can auto-fill forms and sign-in pages instantly.

NordPass offers the accessible and secure experience all users deserve online, with true randomization, mobile integration, and top-grade encryption. It’s time to remove the hassle of forgotten passwords and hacked accounts and enjoy the modern browsing experience.

Benjamin Scott
Benjamin Scott
Verified author
Ben is our tech geek. He analyses difficult topics and brings them to the reader in a nice and simple language. In his free time, he loves to compete, so he likes to participate in various marathons and triathlons.
Subscribe to NordPass news