Why is it so hard to think up a good password?

I’ve been working in IT for a wee while now, a shade over 20 years even, and in all this time there is one consistent thread of frustration that nibbles away at my very sanity. Trivial Passwords.

I’m sure this isn’t just be going nuts here, there must be thousands of network administrators and web masters going quietly bonkers all over the planet right at this very moment.

We slave away with intimate pride of our collective nerdiness, building robust and secure IT systems for all to behold. Fussing and fettling over minute details to ensure the ever important data is safe.

An unfortunate side affect of this creative journey is a necessary evil. The agent by which all things great in computing are undone. I’m not referring to the trivial password here but that which spawns it. The user.

“Do I have to put a number in my password, eight characters, really?”

I’m getting chills just typing that sentence.

A quick Google for ‘most common passwords’ will quickly reveal the painful truth. 123456 is actually a very common password, as is the word itself… ‘Password’.

Where am I going with all this? I use complex passwords. I love them with the same fervour as tatting enthusiasts like a good yarn. (See what I did there? No? Look it up…)

I used to use an on line password generator, but the owner of the website decided to put pop-up ads on the page, so that every time you refreshed the page you got another ad popup. ARGH.

If you were looking for something particular in your random password it could take ages with all the popping, closing and refreshing going on. Popup ads are second only in their evil nature to trivial passwords.

Fresh from a particularly annoying bout of popping, closing and refreshing last week I set about creating my own random password generator, which is now on line for all to use.

It uses the php rand() function seeded using microtime() which in lay terms means that in theory it can generate a different password every microsecond. Of course if you are a lay person you probably don’t care, and you’re using 123456 as your password.

That in a nutshell is it. Enjoy your randomly generated passwords.

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