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Emoji Passcodes - The Future of Online Security?

Emotional Security


As proud as you might be of your carefully crafted, 45 character password riddled with numbers and special characters, you're still part of a minority. '123456' remains the most popular password on the internet, with 'password' one step down on the podium. Yeah, people really are that stupid, sorry. The sad fact of the matter is that a lot of people simply aren't confident that they'll remember anything more complex than that, but just like all of the world's other problems, emoji might be the solution.

A UK-based digital banking firm called Intelligent Environments have developed a passcode system that's entirely based around making combinations of 4 emojis from a library of 44. This means that there are 3,498,308 possible combinations, far more than the standard 4 numbered PIN system, but obviously far less than for a normal password with letters, numbers and whatever else. For a PIN system though, it's far, far better, since it will make people less likely to call back to specific dates, or their age or address. 

Remembering a particular combination of emoji activates a completely different part of the brain. We have a much better memory for images and particularly faces (even little yellow ones) than we do for cold sets of numbers and characters. You could even get creative with it and make a PIN out of a set of faces which tell a little story. The sheer novelty of it would likely be enough to help ingrain the code into people's minds.

Emoji is fast on the way to becoming a language unto itself, a kind of contemporary hieroglyphics. They are one of the most universally recognisable languages in the world, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't understand what a smiley face connotes. It's not necessarily the best method for clarity of terms, it's a bit like using body language without the body, but for passcodes it could end up being revolutionary. 

Intelligent Environments aren't the first people to start approaching emoji in this way and they haven't placed any kind of patent on the idea, which only increases the chances of this really taking off. I'm predicting a spate of passcodes that attempt to directly emulate the facial saga of taking a massive dump.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Emoji Passcodes - The Future of Online Security? Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 Rating: 5

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