1993 was the year I set up my first digital password. Along with a few hundred students at my high school, I’d received a thing called an email account on the school’s intranet (whatever that was). Using email was now mandatory for submission of certain assignments. As an added benefit, we could send “emails” to teachers, coaches and other students.
As I recall, it got very limited use, as only a handful of teachers played ball, and as proper Gen Xers, we students thought: “Right … why would I email my buddies? I’ll just walk over and, you know, listen to In Utero – Nirvana’s latest album.”
My username and password were issued on a scrap of paper. As unimpressive a start as it was, in fact, it was a significant moment and a tiny hint that a revolution had begun to unfold. It was also my first piece of digital real estate – at least the first piece given to me.
Later, approaching the year 2000, a host of other programs and applications mounted into a wave that swamped us with email from AOL, video chat from ICQ and forums like Xanga. Most, if not all, required unique logins. But best practice — it was nowhere in sight. At least as a twenty-something at the time, with a great memory … I can’t recall much advice other than to avoid password 123456. Oh! What I would have done for a password generator back then.
My memory places the frenzied talk of passwords and good practice around the time the first iPhone hit the market or the social media platform Myspace became a thing. In those days – the stone age – people began to feel something like ownership of their digital worlds. They increasingly used devices for private, yet common things, and some felt a need … for security.
If we flash forward to today, not much has changed in the hunt for best password practice. But what has changed is that almost everyone on the planet has access to instantaneous communications via smartphone and social media. Each has multiple logins, each (erm … us) with multiple devices and/or digital products and services linked to them. Oh, and a headache trying to keep them all straight.
To address all the security needed to “be safe” in today’s digital world, password guidelines have been issued by everyone from Santa Claus, NIST and Microsoft to the EU and AV vendors too. Across the IT sector – ESET included – tools have been released, including password managers as well as software- and hardware-based two-factor authentication (2FA) tools. Still, lost, weak and stolen passwords are common more than 25 years later.
Ok, but passwords are a pain, right?
Enter our web-based ESET Password Generator. We build lots of products, post blogs and offer infographics, all to help users to manage passwords and secure their digital accounts. To complete our arsenal of protection, we’ve created our own password generator.
It’s FREE, so check it out!
All website visitors are able to access the password generator without any registration needed. Since you are making online safety a priority, take note! Our password generator will not store your password or send it to any third parties, nor do we collect or store any personal data.
Once on the website, users generate their new password and are presented with options, including custom characters, password length and strength. If you’re an optimist, complexity is beauty; if you’re a pessimist, the devil is in the details: passwords must be appropriately complex, easy to remember and unique to each platform you are accessing.
Best Practice + Tech = Increased Security
After creating a strong password or passphrase, keep it secure and find a second factor – 2FA – method of protection that helps prevent unwanted access.
Even strong passwords can fall victim to malicious actors using keyloggers and other malicious techniques to crack or steal them. So, strongly consider using a product like ESET Smart Security Premium that integrates several privacy protection features, including password management and protection against keylogging. ESET’s password manager integrates iOS Face ID and 2FA via Google Authenticator, delivering additional ways to secure email and other communications, plus providing another security layer when accessing other digital platforms.
Free Password Generator, You Say … What’s in It for Us?
Again, ESET isn’t collecting your data and isn’t monetizing this tool. What’s in it for us is that you are taking a great first step to securing your digital world. The more secure everyone is online, the more all of us share in a safer digital environment. Once you improve your passwords, maybe you’ll read up on 2FA, encryption and other measures too!
To learn more about these and other basic security steps – without any product talk – check out WeLiveSecurity.