LastPass Password Generator
I just helped a friend recover from one of her social media accounts getting hacked, so I’ve bumped today’s scheduled Toolbox post for this one. Her issue wasn’t the result of some phishing incident, which would be typical; instead, I’m guessing it was even simpler than that: The hacker just guessed her password.
She’s had the account for years, and she hadn’t changed her old password (which she just shared with me) in all that time. One look at that simple password she’d been using, and I’m pretty sure I’d be able to guess it and get in with a bit of trial-and-error and patience. No, I’m not going to share that password with you and give you tips on how to guess passwords. What I will say, however, is if it’s no longer than 8 characters (the standard years ago) and you can easily remember it, good chance it’s not the barrier to entry you think it is.
Her account’s recovered now. Had to generate a tougher new password for her to use, which looks something like this:
That’s 12 characters long, and she absolutely hates it, but after today’s experience, no argument from her on its necessity. Unfortunately, now she has to get that written down and saved somewhere. C’est la vie. I showed her what resource I used to generate it in case she needs more, which you’ll learn about now: the LastPass Password Generator.
LastPass is a password manager and vault app/service, and the link below is to their free password generator. No registrations and logins needed, and it’s simple enough to figure out and use. That’s the default length it generates, 12 characters, but that’s easy enough to increase or decrease as needed. There are a few other options, and describing them here would be nuts—they’re so simple, you can figure out what they’re for yourself when you try out the generator.
Tip: The longer the password, the better. You’re likely going to need to note and save that wonky-looking 12-character password somewhere anyway, so may as well go long.