The number one reason for compromised e-mail accounts is using weak passwords. These weak passwords are easily guessed or hacked using simple dictionary attacks. While many security experts give guidelines to create strong and secure passwords, nobody can remember those all points. One thing you can do is to use a tool to generate strong passwords. PWGen is such an open-source tool which can be used to generate multiple passwords or passphrases.
PWGen is a password generator capable of creating large amounts of cryptographically-secure passwords or passphrases. Passphrases are generated from word lists. It uses a random pool to gather entropy from user inputs and system parameters. Additionally, it also offers text encryption and random data file creation as well. Here are some of the key features of PWGen :
- Free and open-source software
- Uses latest cryptographic ciphers like AES, SHA-2
- Available as a portable program.
- Memory allocated by the program is overwritten before closing the program
- Multilingual support
- Supports all 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions (9x/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8)
You can download PWGen from its source-forge site. The download is available as a portable zipped program and as an installer. The program is an open-source application, so you can also download the source code if you want. The interface of the PWGen is pretty straightforward. In the Settings section, select the options to generate passwords. Typically, you can select the length of the passwords, the character sets to be used in generating the passwords. You will note that it has two Generate buttons in the window. If you want to create only one password, then click on the lower Generate button and instantly it will show you the generated password.
For ordinary users, generating one password at a time is good enough. But if for some reason, you want to generate multiple passwords, then type in the number of passwords that you want to generate in the Number of Passwords field. Then click on the upper Generate button and you would be shown a tiny window with a list of all the generated passwords.
The PWGen is a portable and small tool to securely generate very strong passwords. You can keep it in your portable USB stick and take it anywhere you go to instantly generate strong passwords and passphrases. It uses modern industry strength ciphers like AES and SHA-2. You can download PWGen from its website at http://pwgen-win.sourceforge.net/.