Many methods exist to create unique secure passwords for the websites and services that you want to join. Most users however prefer the easy way and use one or a few passwords for all of the websites they are a member of and never change the password as well.
The same applies to the username which is most of the time the same or a variation of that name, and in most cases either the user's primary email address or a name that gets used over and over again on the web.
The problem with this is that an attacker needs to get the username and password of a single account to get access to many others used by that user. How they do it? By trying the username and password combination on popular services such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Pinterest, PayPal, Amazon and a lot of others.
This is a high security risk and it is advised to create unique passwords (and usernames) for the websites that you are a member of.
One tool that can aid you in the creation of unique passwords is the Password Hasher extension for Firefox. The Password Hasher add-on creates a unique password, called Hash Word, that is generated from a unique site tag (normally the name of the website) and a master key provided by the user. The master key can be the same password because it is not stored on the website that you are a member of, only the generated hash word is used as the password on that website.
The benefit is that you only need to remember the master key and not the unique and complicated hash word. So, nothing changes in terms of complexity for you.
Several options are available to define the size and keys of the hash word. The size can be between 6 and 14 chars with optional numbers, upper,lower case and special chars included.
Update: The site can be as large as high as 26 characters in the latest version of the extension.
The benefit of using Password Hasher is obvious. The user still needs to remember only one password if he likes but all websites he is a member of store different passwords that are generated using Password Hasher.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.