Welcome to Photo Passwords: The Future of Logins

The news has been on fire over the last year with stories of compromised logins for websites. Looking to avoid a security breach and the consequential computer repair? Australian teen Sam Crowther thinks he has your answer: use a photo instead of a complex password.

A Picture that’s Worth 512 Characters

Crowther created uSig, an app that allows you to use any picture that you like as your password. The app then turns the image into a 512-character-long password. 

The advantages of this app include:

  • Not having to memorize passwords.
  • Malicious key-logging software can’t track the characters that you type for your password because you don’t use characters.
  • Thieves won’t immediately know what picture you used if they steal your device.
  • If you accidentally delete the picture on your device, you can use a new one.
  • The app allows websites to change your passwords (for good reasons), but you don’t have to change the image you use.

This novel concept could bring revolutionary changes in login and password security.  uSig isn’t available yet, but Crowther intends to release it soon. (http://vimeo.com/86477416). Until this fantastic new technology becomes mainstream, we need to all be using the strongest passwords we can. 

How to Create a Strong Password

  • Make passwords that are long, between 8 and 25 characters. Instead of using random characters, use a phrase or sentence as your password. Alternatively, use a long sentence or phrase that’s simple to remember (e.g. lines of poetry or lyrics to a song) and use the first letter of each word as the password.
  • Include capital letters, symbols and numbers in your password.
  • Consider substituting numbers and symbols for letters. For example, use $ for the letter S, @ for the letter A, or ! for the letters I or L.
  • Don’t limit capital letters, numbers and symbols to the beginning or end of the password.
  • Don’t use passwords that are simple to guess, like the name of your street or pet, your birthday or zip code. Also, avoid using “password,” “123456,” “qwerty” and other consecutive keys as a password.
  • Use a different password for each of your online accounts.
  • When available, enable the two-step password-verification option.
  • Change your passwords at least every six months.
  • Consider using a password manager to organize and store your login information.

The security of your online accounts is only as strong as your passwords. For help creating a strong password, enhancing the security on your device or for computer or laptop repair, Springfield and surrounding area residents should call Rethink Associates.