What Is Password Salting?

Password salting is a security measure that helps to protect user credentials from malicious actors. It involves adding random characters, called salt, to each password before they are stored in a database. The purpose of this is to make it more difficult for attackers who gain access to the database to be able to decrypt the passwords and gain access to users’ accounts.

What Is Password Salting?

Adding salt makes it much harder for an attacker to use brute force or dictionary attacks against the passwords because each password will have its own unique value for the salt.

In this article, we will discuss what password salting is, its benefits, and provide practical examples of how it can be used.

What is Password Salting?

The concept of adding random data to a user’s password in order to protect it from unauthorized access is referred to as salting. Salting is an important step in the process of creating strong passwords due to its ability to increase the complexity and strength of a password.

This security measure helps prevent attackers from using brute force or dictionary attacks on passwords, which involve attempting millions of combinations until the correct one is found. This extra layer of security involves randomly generating a string of characters that is added to each user’s password before hashing.

The salt string should be long enough so that each user has their own unique salt value, but short enough that it does not slow down the authentication process too much. Once generated, this value remains constant for every login attempt made by the user and must remain secret at all times.

When combined with hashing algorithms such as SHA-512 or PBKDF2, salting can provide an effective level against most common forms of attack.

Benefits of Password Salting

Enhancing security through the use of salting can potentially provide users with a greater peace of mind. Password salting is a method that adds random data, known as a salt, to each password before it is hashed and stored in the system. This salt helps increase the complexity of passwords and makes them harder to crack by making them unique for each user.

The extra layer of security provided by salting helps protect against brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, rainbow tables, and other common methods used by attackers to gain access to user accounts.

The benefits of using password salting extend beyond just enhanced security; it also enables users to reuse passwords without worrying about their account credentials being compromised. Because a different salt is added to each password upon entry into the system, even if two users have the same password, its hashed value will be different due to the additional data that was added prior to hashing. As such, this makes it nearly impossible for an attacker who gains access to one account’s hashed version of a particular password from being able to use it in another account with the same password since they would not know what salt was used on it.

Examples of Password Salting

Salting passwords provides users with an additional layer of security, making it more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access to user accounts. Salting is the process of adding a random string of characters known as ‘salt’ to the end of a password before hashing it. The salt is different for each user and prevents attackers from using pre-computed dictionary attacks by making it harder for them to guess the original value of a hashed password.

In practical examples, when a user creates their account, the website generates a unique salt and adds this to the end of their chosen password before hashing it. The salt is then stored in plain text alongside the hashed version of that user’s password, allowing authentication without having to store unencrypted values. This means that even if an attacker were able to gain access to the database containing usernames and passwords, they would not be able to use those credentials for other accounts due to the salted value being unique per user.


Password salting is an effective security measure that helps protect user accounts from potential attacks. It adds an extra layer of protection to the passwords stored in a database by adding random characters to each password, making it nearly impossible for attackers to reverse engineer them.

This makes it more difficult for hackers and other malicious actors to gain access to the accounts they are trying to breach. Password salting also provides additional benefits such as increased system performance and reduced storage requirements.

By implementing this simple, yet effective security measure, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of being compromised.

More reading

Password salting is the process of adding a random sequence of data to each password and then hashing it to make it more secure. The random data added is called a salt, and it is used to prevent identical passwords from generating the same hash, making it more difficult for attackers to crack the password. (source: PassCamp)

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