Password Salting

What Does Password Salting Mean?

Password salting is a form of password encryption that involves appending a password to a given username and then hashing the new string of characters. This is usually done via an MD5 hashing algorithm. Password-salting is most commonly found within Linux operating systems, and it is generally considered a more secure password encryption model than any of the models used within the various Microsoft distributions.

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Techopedia Explains Password Salting

When a username has been established, the user typically creates a password to associate with this username. After the user has submitted the password to the salt-enabled system, the system appends the password to the username. Then, the new string of characters is hashed. This is a very effective way of encrypting passwords because even if two different users coincidentally select the same password, their usernames will almost certainly be different, thereby resulting in a different hash value.

Other, more common methods of password security that you often find with software like password manager apps include encryption and randomized password generation that includes numbers, symbols, and other special characters for password security.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.