All you see are asterisks whenever you enter passwords on the Internet. This makes it near impossible to make sure the correct password has been entered.
The only indicator is the length of the password, but that works best for short passwords and not so good for larger more secure ones as it takes time to count the characters that you have entered.
Visual Hashing, a new add-on for the Firefox web browser and extension for Chrome, changes this by adding visual password reminders to password prompts on the Internet.
The idea is simple: Generate a hash code for a password the user enters and visualize that hash with four colors in the password field.
The user recognizes the colors over time, and gets a confirmation that the right password has been entered right on the screen.
Using the add-on may be somewhat confusing in the beginning, as new colors appear whenever you add or remove a char from the entered password.
Visual Hashing helps you make sure that you do not enter a wrong password in password fields on the Internet. While that may sound superfluous to some users, as you can simply re-enter passwords if they are not accepted, it may be useful to others.
Visual Hashing integrates well into most sites. It works for instance on Twitter, Facebook and Google properties. The four colors begin to appear after you start to enter the first character of the password into the form on the site which works both on sign-up forms and on sign-in forms.
The developer is currently consideringadding new features to the add-on. Among the options could be a password hint that indicates whether the password is correct or not, or options to keep track of passwords that are being reused to inform users about the dangers of it.
Colors will always appear slightly different to avoid password hash information leaking out through screenshots. The color differences are not recognizable to the human eye.
Source code and additional information are available on the developer's blog.
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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.