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How to auto-generate passwords that are actually secure

A secure password is your first defense against unauthorized access to your personal information. While there are tools that generate strong passwords(new window), remembering these complex combinations can become a challenge.

Even if you use mnemonic devices, random passphrases, or various memory techniques to make strong passwords easier to remember(new window), managing multiple secure passwords might feel overwhelming. (Writing them down on paper is never a safe method.)

If all this seems like too much effort, this article shows you how to automatically generate strong passwords and easily store them in a secure password manager to quickly log in to your accounts later. That way, you don’t have to keep track of anything, but you can still be confident that your information is safe.

What makes a password secure

A secure password is long, complex, and unpredictable, incorporating a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. The higher the entropy(new window), the stronger the password, making it less susceptible to attacks like brute force(new window) (where an attacker tries every possible combination) or dictionary(new window) (using common words and phrases).

Remembering a long sequence of random passwords is tough, especially when each one should be unique and changed frequently without using patterns or repetitions that might weaken security.

For instance, many organizations ask you to update your passwords every two or three months. Plus, jotting them down on a piece of paper or storing them in a document on your computer or online isn’t safe — it could easily lead to someone else getting a hold of them.

How to auto-generate strong passwords

Browser-based password managers

Many web browsers have a built-in password manager. This is convenient when you’re using that browser, and you don’t have to install additional software.

However, relying solely on a browser can be risky if the browser data is compromised through malware or other security flaws. You also may not have access to your passwords on other devices or apps. Plus, browsers like Google Chrome(new window) use their password managers to lock you in to their other services that have access to your data, so you risk your privacy by exposing your password information to the service provider.

Standalone password managers

A safer solution is to use a dedicated password manager(new window) to generate, retrieve, and store complex passwords. It encrypts your password database with a master password, and that’s the only one you need to remember.

Additionally, if the password manager supports two-factor authentication (2FA)(new window), it adds an extra layer of security. Even if someone discovers your master password, they still need a second form of verification to access your accounts.

However, trust remains the most important factor when choosing a password manager, as demonstrated by the LastPass data breach(new window). Many things make a password manager trustworthy(new window), such as advanced encryption, zero-knowledge architecture, multi-factor authentication (MFA), independent security audits, open-source code, or a clear privacy policy(new window).

Create and manage secure passwords with Proton Pass

Proton Pass is a privacy-first password generator that operates in Switzerland(new window), which has some of the world’s strongest data privacy laws. All our apps are open-source(new window) and undergo independent audits.

Our security system includes zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption(new window) with 256-bit AES-GCM to make sure that only you can access your data — not even Proton can see your information. To increase your security, you can protect your Proton account with 2FA using an authenticator app or security key(new window).

Proton Pass generates strong passwords, keeps them stored in a safe place, and automatically fills your credentials. Besides random passwords, you can generate memorable passphrases for manual entry or account recovery as well as save credit card details, shipping information, or private notes. For collaborative or family use, you can create encrypted vaults(new window) with logins, aliases, or secured notes and safely share them.

Our password manager features a built-in TOTP (time-based one-time password) authenticator, hide-my-email aliases(new window) to prevent your true email address from being shared with websites and services, and passkeys(new window) for passwordless authentication to strengthen your protection against phishing attacks or data breaches.

All Proton subscribers can use Pass Monitor to audit the health of their passwords, Dark Web Monitoring to get alerts if personal information is leaked in data breaches, and the Sentinel high-security program for advanced protection and response.

Use an encrypted password manager to create and manage strong passwords by joining Proton Pass for free.

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