PasswordCard – printable password generator

Passwords are always touchy topic and there are many approaches. From time to time I encounter very original attempts to help manage complex passwords. Such as Keep Your Passwords Safe on a Piece of Paper post at Digital Inspiration, but I felt that idea is not polished enough at that time.

Yesterday I saw PasswordCard at oursignal and it turned out to be same principle in much more solid implementation – card with random grid of random symbols to be printed and used for password generation.

What it does

When you visit site it takes random seed sequence and uses it to generate card with symbols, like this one: passwordcard

Then you decide on few rules to generate your passwords:

  • you pick symbol and color combination as starting point, easy to remember and gets you a lot of passwords from single card;
  • you pick direction to go;
  • you pick number of symbols to use.

If you stick with one direction and password length it is easy to remember even multiply starting points. At least much easier than it is to remember complex password.

Strong features

You can use seed sequence to regenerate your card at site if you lose it, so better store it somewhere.

There are options to change set of symbols by including number-only rows and adding special characters to the mix.

Downsides

I am not too sure about merit of color-coding. Personally I don’t usually have access to color printers, mostly monochrome laser ones at work. It would be good to have some other or additional marker for rows.

Overall

Might seem like a hassle, but as for me this is very solid way to generate and keep track of multiply strong passwords.

Link http://www.passwordcard.org/

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4 Comments

  • Hi

    this is great. I think you made a point with the color coding, but there is an easy way around: Just use the standard addressing method of spread sheets: A….AZ for the column, 1…99 for the row

    Olaf

  • @Olaf

    Well, columns are already marked… I just see no reason for rows to not be. It’s not much of an inconvenience with this amount of rows but I it is a downside. :)

  • I think it’s a lot easier and safer to float over to http://www.random.org and use their free ‘true’ random password generator.

    It will allow you to generate lists of passwords as either text or html files. You can have it generate lists of up to 100 passwords at a time. Passwords can be up to 24 characters in length.

    Crank out three or four passes of 100 each as text files. And then feed them into an Excel spreadsheet. After that just slice & dice them up as needed. And should you ever run out, you can always go back and generate a few hundred more.

    One nice thing about this generator is that it eliminates easily confused characters such as lower-case L and the number 1. While this may reduce the theoretical complexity of the passwords slightly, it’s really not that significant a difference in security for everyday use – unless you’re responsible for arming nukes… ;-)

    Cool tool!

  • @Votre

    Also valid approach, but strong aspect of PasswordCard is that is that you can lose it and it won’t compromise your passwords. It isn’t like that for a simple list of passwords and you need some mixing system for this… Which is exactly what PasswordCard offers.

    There are many ways to generate strong passwords, it’s storing them what I find more interesting here. :)

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