Our friends chuckle when we text them a story using emoji. Fun little pictures rich in context and feeling, especially when we can make use of the smiling poo.
But that funny emoji story could also make a very secure password.
The British company Intelligent Environments has developed emoji security technology the developers say will be easier to remember and offer many more combinations that a four-digit PIN code.
Intelligent Environments surveyed some 1,300 Brits and found more than a third forgot their four-digit PIN codes, while one in four say they use the same code for all of their cards. A global security report published in 2012 said 80 percent of all security incidents were because of weak passwords.
With just a four-digit code, hundreds of emoji could create more than 3.5 million possible combinations, according to the company’s website.
“With emoji password, you can just think of a funny story, no one is going to crack that,” said Intelligent Environments managing director David Webber.
Intelligent Environments, a financial services technology firm specializing in digital banking, has made the emoji-only passcode available for its online banking app for Android users. Given the popularity of emoji communication, especially among millennials, it is likely to spread as a password option for all of our secure communications and transactions.
“You forget your passwords because the brain doesn’t work digitally or verbally, it works imagistically,” said the company’s memory expert, Tony Buzan, in a video explaining how the technology works. “Images are the prime way of remember anything you want to remember.”
Of course, if you have a really memorable story that would make a secure passcode, you may just want to tell it to your friends the old fashioned way.