Passwords As A Window On The Soul

from the what's-your-password dept

A NY Times article that doesn’t cover any new ground (we’ve posted articles like this in the past), but talks a lot about what sorts of passwords people use online. Of course, most people aren’t particularly creative, and that makes cracking passwords somewhat easy. It is interesting to see what people chose as their passwords, though, and it sometimes reveals a little bit about that person. It is funny how people sort of sum up their lives in a password which no one is ever supposed to know about. The article also talks about people who use the word “password” as their password, or who chose the names of people they like. Apparently characters from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are also popular choices for passwords (ah, those geeks… they should know better). Experiments have also shown that people use the same password over and over again – sometimes even using the same password they use for very important things (such as bank accounts) for trivial things like entertainment sites (or NY Times logins?). There’s also a related article on experiments in using pictures for passwords. It describes a system where the user has to pick from a bunch of computer generated images to store in his or her “picture password portfolio”. Then, every time they need to use the password, they just have to reclick the images in their portfolio. Sounds interesting, but it also sounds a lot more time consuming (and possibly annoying) than the usual password system.

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