I don't do anything with corporate IT and networking, but I know enough to handle and get networks going. Anyway, something I ran into in my travels when it comes to the occasions of working on individual computers and small networks when I do is the matter of securing devices which have Internet or wireless exposure.
I'm a complete novice in these matters and what is best, so I thought I would do some reading and got some basic ideas of good security practices, but still came up with some questions that weren't really answered solidly:
What are the rules for entering WPA-style passwords in most devices? Could you get away with any standard printable character in these devices or are there some restrictions (hex-strings, some characters not allowed)? I really don't find any good documentation on this.
Are there any good set rules for what makes a good "strong" password in terms of entropy? I found sites like http://www.passwordmeter.com/ which seem to be a good benchmark, but I really haven't found any good rules which qualify something as an "ideal strong password" in an universal sense. There's the random printable character method and then the xkcd method, too.
Since I figure in most cases, all that will happen with these devices after the fact is that people (primarily myself with my own stuff, but others too, think home network stuff) will use the Internet directly or their laptops in order to connect to the Internet, the password doesn't necessarily have to be easy to remember and readily reproduced, so my thought is that any password these devices are set to can be printed out or written down and stored away just in case there is a need to get back into these devices after they are set up. Does this seem smart, or is there something I'm missing?
Given that I'm more inclined towards programming than networking overall in my experiences, I came up with a password generator, which currently just does random printable characters of certain lengths with a few rules. Are there any suggestions on what to do to make the output of this program "gold standard"?
I could be overthinking the password issue entirely, but the thing I notice which is common to all these cases is that they are devices which generally won't have any attention paid to them as long as they are working properly (basically home use - as long as it gets me on the Internet I'm happy). In that way, I'm wanting to learn how to make something I deal with relatively bomb-proof when it comes to anyone who might want to access it and am not entirely clear on the password end of it.