Every so often, a Firefox plugin looks so nice and shiny to me that I consider switching from Camino to Firefox as my primary browser. For the last couple of weeks, the password hashing plugins have had my eye:
- Password Hasher
- SecurePassword Generator
- Magic Password Generator
- Password Composer
- And the one I’d actually be likely to use: PwdHash
These all basically do the same thing. Create a hash of a password and the domain name of the site you’re logging in to. This allows you to use a different password at each site, but only have to remember a single password. And of course, having this built-in as an extension makes it all the easier.
I like PwdHash because it also provides a web interface for generating passwords. Handy for those times you’re using a foreign browser. Also, Blake Ross is a developer whose work I have respect for and one of the first blogs I subscribed to.
- If there is a referring URL, I auto-populate the domain field (works with the bookmarklet).
- I set focus to the domain or password field (whichever is appropriate) for you when the page loads.
- After generating a password, the generated password is selected in the field for easy copy/paste.
- It’s a sight prettier.
I also created a little bookmarklet1 for times when I’m at random computer. The bookmarklet does a little JS to give me a link to my password page from the page I need to log in to. This way I can auto-populate the domain field with the referring URL. Not sure if I’ll really use this or not.
When/if I make the change, I’ll be choosing a new general password to use with the hashes too. These techniques keep passwords from being stolen over the wire or from a service, but don’t help much if the main password used to create them is compromised.
In reality, not having the passwords filled in for me3 might be a good reminder to change my password for the site to a new hashed password.
- Tested with Camino, Firefox and Safari. [back]
- Looks like this will likely be built-in in the future. [back]
- If I switch from Camino to Firefox. Camino stores passwords in the OS X keychain while Firefox uses it’s own password manager. [back]
This post is part of the thread: Passwords – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.