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Password Reset - I am confused


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Hi guys,


I just wanted some input on how to create a system to reset passwords for members, as I have recently learned to use salt and encryption I can not resend the password back to the user, so how would I go about if they lose their password? Reset their password for them automatically and send it to their email by putting in the email which their account is associated to?


I would really appreciate some feedback on this,



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Step one: User enters their username OR email OR both.

Step two: You generate a random key and store it with the current time in the database.

Step three: You email the user a link like site.com/reset_password.php?key=hds743ydsaak (to their email you already have stored in the DB)

Step four: That page asks the user for their username and the key (which can auto fill from the URL).

Step five: If the key matches the username and it's not been too long (24 hours is generally plenty), then either:

a. allow them to choose a new password

b. Mail them a new password and they can change it after they login.

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  • 4 weeks later...

What might be a good idea is to concatenate a number of the users details you have stored in the database, such as their birthday, email address, name, and maybe a preset string from you, then hash this. This will create a unique hash for the user. Send the user an email containing a link like:




When the user clicks this or pasted it into the web bar a script will validate the hashed value and allow the user to select a new password or create a new one for them. This method means you don't have to store anything in the database. However, you cannot set an expiry date for this.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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