How to generate secure passwords for your accounts

A password generator can help when you need a strong and complex password to protect an account.

Easy Password concept. My password 123456 written on a paper.
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the best ways to protect your online and internal accounts is to devise unique and complex passwords. A password manager is your best bet for doing this. But if you don’t have a password manager, another option is to use an online password generator. These sites cook up random and strong passwords that you can apply to your own accounts.

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At most password generator sites, you’re able to control the type of password created by specifying a length and choosing whether to incorporate numbers, symbols and special characters. Here are six password generators that can help you create secure passwords for any type of account.

Secure Password Generator

At the Secure Password Generator website, you first specify the length of the password you need. Anything less than 16 characters is considered weak, between 16 and 128 characters is considered strong and anything 256 characters or more is considered unbelievable. But remember it’s not just the length of your password that determines its strength but its complexity.

Next, you decide whether to include symbols, numbers, lowercase characters and uppercase characters. You can exclude similar characters in the same password as well as ambiguous characters. By default, the password is generated on your device rather than transmitted over the internet.

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When you’re ready, click the button for Generate Password. If you like it, click the Copy button so you can paste it elsewhere. If not, click the button to try again. To help you remember your new password, the site suggests words that start with each letter in the password.

1Password Strong Password Generator

The 11Password Strong Password Generator will generate passphrases and PINs as well as passwords. Many security experts recommend using passphrases as they’re often easier to remember and can be just as secure as a complex password. If you opt for a password, set the length (between eight and 100) and then check the boxes for Numbers and Symbols to include them. Click the Refresh button to generate a password.

To try a passphrase, click the dropdown box and select Memorable Password. Set the length and then decide if you want to include uppercase letters and entire words. Click the Refresh button to see the passphrase.

If you need a PIN, click the dropdown box again and select PIN. Choose the length and click Refresh. When you find a password, passphrase or PIN you like, click the button for Copy Secure Password so you can paste it elsewhere.

LastPass Password Generator Tool

Offered by the popular password manager, the LastPass Password Generator Tool lets you generate a password that’s not only secure but easy to say or read. First, set the length up to 50 characters. Then decide if you want a password that’s easy to say, easy to read or one that incorporates any possible character. Choosing the first option lets you include or exclude uppercase and lowercase characters. Choosing either of the other two options allows you to also include or exclude numbers and symbols. Click the Refresh button to create a password and then click the Copy button to paste it somewhere else.

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Norton Password Generator

The Norton Password Generator helps you pick the right password by indicating whether it’s weak or strong. First, set the length anywhere from four to 64 characters. You then can include or exclude letters, mixed case characters, punctuation or numbers. You can now move the slider along the bar to alter the length. Depending on the length and complexity, the generator will tell you whether your chosen password is bad, weak or strong. Click the Refresh button to spin for another password. When you’re ready, click the Copy button to paste your new password elsewhere.

NordPass Password Generator

The NordPass Password Generator is another site that will indicate the strength of your password. After setting the length from eight to 59 characters, decide whether to include or exclude uppercase characters, lowercase characters, digits, symbols and ambiguous characters. Move the slider for the length, and the tool will tell you whether your password is weak, moderate or strong. Click the Copy button when ready to paste it elsewhere.

Thycotic Password Generator

With the Thycotic Password Generator, you can include specific characters in your password. That’s helpful if you want to use special characters but only certain ones, such as * or @. First, select the length from six to 64 characters. Then check the boxes to determine the complexity. Include or exclude symbols, numbers, lowercase characters, uppercase characters, duplicate characters and similar characters. For example, you can opt to exclude symbols but then add only certain symbols in the field for “Include specific characters.” When you’re ready, click the Generate button to see your new password, which is automatically selected. If you like it, copy and paste it elsewhere.

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