With the recent celebrity photo leaks on iCloud still fresh on everybody’s minds, a lot of people are looking into how to make their passwords more secure. Well, the good news is that Google thinks it can help you thanks to a password generator that one of the Chromium developers, Francios Beaufort, has cooked up for the latest Chrome Canary build. It generates passwords according to your requirements or the requirements of the website you’re making an account on and best of all, it’s baked straight into the browser.
Granted, Chrome has had something like this for a while now, but it’s really only worked in the Chromium browser. If you launch Chromium with the switch “-enable-password-generation” it will give you suggestions for passwords. The reason why is hasn’t been a proper feature for the past two years is that passwords saved in the password manager weren’t uploaded to the cloud. Instead they stayed locally hosted on your PC and if you lost your Chromium install, well.. bully for you. Especially if you were all secure-like and never synced your saved password lists to the cloud.
“The Chrome Password Generation feature we’ve stumbled upon long time ago has now a brand new UI enabled behind the two experimental chrome://flags/#enable-password-generation and _chrome://flags/#enable-save-password-bubble flags in Chrome Canary,” Beaufort wrote on his Google Plus page. “Give it a try and go to any “sign up” page. As soon as you focus the password field, a nice overlay will suggest you a strong and pronounceable password that will be saved in your chrome passwords.”
Chrome Canary is a separate distribution of the Chrome browser and it typically receives all of the bleeding edge updates before any other version of the browser. There’s currently also a 64-bit stable channel for Chrome, although I’m avoiding it until a few plugins can be fixed.
Does anyone use password generators, or do you rely on your own made-up ones? Do you try make them random, or is there a pattern for you? Have you ever used an online password generator, or something like Passwordcard? Let us know in the comments below.
As always, though, XKCD’s strip about secure passwords is still very relevant today. As a system admin I tried my best to implement something like this at work, but people are far too used to remembering stupid, complex, short passwords these days.