System to Help Remember Over 100 PasswordsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: December 10, 2013 10:34AM
Ideally, a user will use a different password for every online account they have, but the reality is that one person can have some many accounts, it is almost impossible for them to remember them all, without help. Some of these solutions though, can actually put your security at risk. Researchers at Carnegie Melon University however, have taken advantage of some cognitive research and built a system to aid a user's memory, without compromising security.
Our memory works by encoding information with connections, and generally the more connections, the more easily you can recall the information. For example, remembering a specific sentence is easier when the sentence is tied to pictures. This is what the researchers are using to help remember passwords, by creating an app that shows a user a few pictures, and asks them to create a story about a sentence long, based on the pictures. The password is then formed from parts of the sentence, such as the first letters. As the story is the key and only known to the user, the pictures do not need to be secured, but for further security, the app associates multiple image groups with one password, so the user will also have multiple stories associated with the password as well.
Currently the app is undergoing development as part of an undergraduate research project, but when finished, it could allow some to generate 126 different passwords, by memorizing just nine stories. There is one flaw to the system though, and that is the reliance on letters, while some sites require numbers, capital letters, or passwords of specific lengths. Just another bit of information to remember.
Source: Carnegie Melon University