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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder PasswordMaker

This add-on for Firefox gives you the best of both worlds. You give PasswordMaker a master password (say, the one you likely use everywhere already), and it runs it through a mathematical algorithm to create a unique password, which it then fills into the password field. When you hit the login button, Firefox sends the PasswordMaker-generated password.

If you provide the same master password, PasswordMaker will always create the same unique password for the same site. Which means you can install the add-on on a version of Firefox installed at work and it will log you in with the same password for a given site that it would use for any other PC (provided you give it the same master password, and don't change the default password-creation options).

To use PasswordMaker at its simplest level, right-click on a password field and choose 'Populate this field' from the PasswordMaker menu. You'll be prompted to type and confirm your Master Password, and then PasswordMaker will fill in the generated password when you hit Ok. If you want to use PasswordMaker for an existing account, you'll first need to change your password and use the add-on to create the new password.

There are a wealth of advanced options for technical users, such as changing the algorithm used to create a password or the length or the created password, along with an online version that you can use to generate your password for a given site if you're on a PC where you can't install Firefox and/or the PasswordMaker add-on. But there's a gotcha: The default password-generating options for the online version are different from the add-on options, so you won't get the same password from the online version unless you change its settings to use the MD5 hash algorithm and an 8-character long password (the defaults for the add-on).

While decidedly useful, aspects of PasswordMaker (such as knowing to change the online version's default options) can be somewhat daunting for a non-technical user. The easier to use Password Hash add-on has fewer options, but does largely the same thing.

Note: This link takes you to the vendor's site, where you can automatically install the file into your Firefox browser.

--Erik Larkin

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder PasswordMaker

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