Password Generating with Wolfram Alpha
September 8, 2011
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I read a recent post from Digital Inspiration about using Wolfram Alpha to generate strong passwords, and it just so happened to come at a time when I was teaching my 3-5 graders about the importance of computer security and password creation. For the past couple of years, I’ve shown my students the video Secure Passwords by Common Craft before having them create their own passwords, and there is always a few students who have trouble coming up with a password that works for them. Enter Wolfram Alpha. Students can do a search of “password of 8 letters” and a password will be created with a phonetic form that will make it easier to remember (see below).
If you want to make the password easier or stronger, students can click on “Use Specific Password Rules Instead” and allow special characters so that the password becomes more complex.
This will give you passwords like:
which, admittedly, are not the best passwords for elementary school students, but going through this process is a good practice for students, nonetheless. For those students struggling with creating passwords, they can play around with the password rule allowances, and create an easier password with just lower-case letters and numbers. Delving deeper, within Wolfram Alpha, you can click on any of the passwords that have been generated and find out how long it would take a computer to crack the code. For example, the password nJ$+[pub would take a computer 352.9 years to enumerate (assuming 100,000 passwords/second), therefore, this would be considered a very weak password with a total score of 48. Doing a search for “password of 10 characters,” delivered 3phZaejT7k, which is a strong password, taking a computer 55,456 years to break.