Scientists have developed a new system that uses a passphrase can keep your online data safe for online authentication, and found it to be more user-friendly and secure than traditional wordbased passcodes. Although passphrases, or phrase-based passwords, have been found to be more secure than traditional passwords, factors like typographical errors and memorability have slowed down their wider adoption.
“Passphrases are more secure than passwords and avoid the various issues with biometric systems like fingerprint or facial recognition,” said Kevin Juang, a user experience research manager at SunTrust Bank in the US. “It’s inevitable that we will eventually need to move past traditional passwords, but it’s nothing to fear,” said Juang and a passphrase can keep your online data safe.
The study, published in the journal Human Factors, developed and tested two new passphrase systems that seek to address these shortcomings and improve the usability and security of existing passphrase authentication systems. The first passphrase system incorporated and passphrase can keep your online data safe, in part, a specialised wordlist using simple, common words; a six-word sentence structure that made meaningful sense; and a user created mnemonic picture to assist with recall. The final result would be a passphrase such as “silly pet wolf ate our pizzas,” with an accompanying user-generated illustration. The second passphrase system replaced the six-word sentence structure with four words randomly drawn from a customised 1,450-word list.
Researchers assessed the usability of their systems against two existing passphrase systems: a user-generated passphrase containing at least 24 characters, and a system-generated passphrase using words randomly drawn from a list of 10,000. To gauge the success of their new systems, the authors asked 50 adult participants to create, in five minutes, a passphrase and any applicable mnemonic — without writing down what they created. Given that study participants were instructed not to write down or practice their passphrases, researchers found that in real-world settings, the success rates for their new systems would likely increase for passphrase can keep your online data safe.