In an Active Directory environment, the first thing you want to turn on is complex passwords in Group Policy. Most users, if not forced to, would use their names or three-letter words for their passwords! Not very secure!
Active Directory has a group policy setting called Passwords must meet complexity requirements, which makes all user create a password that is at least 6 characters long and contains characters from at least three of the following categories (uppercase, lowercase, numbers, Unicode characters, and symbols).
However, as I learned once I implemented this policy, people have a tough time coming up with a password to enter. Some people can only think of a few characters, others can’t remember all the rules and if you enforce password history, then you really mess with their minds!
So here are 4 web sites where users can go to in order to create complex passwords easily! These online passwords generators have proved to be very helpful in my domain.
You can create a highly secure and extremely hard to crack password using the PC Tools password generator. You can choose the password length and choose what type of characters you want to include in the password, i.e. letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. This is one of my favorite password generators because you can create a bunch at once and you have lots of options that work perfectly with Active Directory password requirements.
Another good online password generator is GoodPassword. This site feels that a strong password must be at least 12 characters and include a combination of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.
It also has an option of choosing Typewriter Starting Left or Typewriter Starting Right passwords. In a Left password, all the odd position characters are chosen from the left side of the keyboard and all the even position characters are chosen from the right side of the keyboard. This apparently makes it easier to remember the password.
You can also use the site to generate Leet passwords, which basically take easy to remember phrases and convert them into acronyms by taking the first letter of each word, changing the case, and replacing the letters with their numerical equivalents. If you can never remember passwords, it might be a good idea to create a Leet password.
Strong Password Generator is for those people who don’t care about all the options and settings and simply want a password fast. There are really only two options, the length of the password and if you want to include symbols. The algorimth to generate the password takes care of the rest.
It will automatically include uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols, if you choose to include that. It also will put a symbol into the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth position as that is more secure. It will still create a very strong and secure password, it’s just much more straight-forward.
Only use this site if you want to create a secure password for an application that you are developing or for a Windows service account since the passwords are 63 and 64 characters long! No one will ever be able to remember a password that long, but it’s perfect for passwords that people don’t have to remember, such as for applications and Windows services.
The passwords are just for you also, no password is ever re-used on the site. Actually, there can only be a certain number of passwords generated per day because of this super high security.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned password generators should be enough for anyone from a beginner to someone writing ultra secure applications for the government! Enjoy!