How to Generate a Random, Secure Password

Tyler Tyler (291)
Total time: 1 minute 

Most people use the same password for every account they have on the internet. And most of those passwords include one or two dictionary words, which makes the passwords particularly vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Both of these scenarios are highly insecure for obvious reasons.

For important accounts that you need to keep protected it's a good idea to generate a random, secure password that's maintained by a reliable password manager.

1Password1Password ×1

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There are plenty of tools across the internet that will help you generate random passwords. I recommend using a password manager, and many password managers come with a password generator built-in.

I recommend 1Password because it's well designed and is compatible with all major platforms. Password managers are generally reliable for creating secure passwords. As a guide, an 8 character random password usually takes a few days to crack whereas a 10 character password takes years. Obviously the more characters you use the more secure the password (assuming it is completely random).

And best of all, you don't even have to remember your password for each application or website—just the manager's password!

There many, many ways to generate random strings of characters on the command line, but the following is my favorite because it's easy to remember.

date | md5

This will generate a 32 character string that can be used as a password. If you'd like to generate a shorter password, you can use the head command like this:

date | md5 | head -c 16

Once you generate your password you can go to howsecureismypassword.net. Simply enter your password, and it will let you know how long it takes a normal desktop computer to crack it!