Intelligent Environments, a UK based technology firm has announced the launch of “the world’s first emoji-only passcode.”
The firm believes emojis are mathematically more secure than four-character PIN numbers as well as easier to remember.
The company adds that emojis as a PIN will prevent hackers from identifying common and easily obtainable numerical passcodes, like a date of birth or a wedding anniversary.
A regular keypad offers 10 unique choices for a PIN number, 0 through 9, while Emoji Passcode offers a selection of 44 emojis meaning “480 times more” choices.
With traditional PINs, there are 7,290 unique four-number combinations so long as none of the numbers are repeated. With 44 emojis, there are 3,498,308 million unique combinations of non-repeating emojis.
When Data Genetics analyzed PIN numbers that had been exposed due to being stored in unencrypted databases, the company revealed numerous quirky PIN trends as well as some of the most popular PIN choices.
People loved to start their PIN number with 1 as well as with 0, or to use the uninspired choice of 1234. While those wouldn’t be the case if emojis were used as a PIN replacement, some people might select emoji characters in patterns the same way they do with PIN numbers.
According to the data analyzed, patterns like 1212 or 1122, and repeating digits like 1111 or 0000 were very common for PINs as well as repeating pairs in the XYXY format.
Visual keyboard layouts also influenced clues like 2580 which runs down the center of an ATM or phone. The emoji characters layout might be better, but not if people used some of the same pattern types as they do in PINs; if security is in play to prevent repeats, people might default to selecting the four corner emojis as they do on a traditional keypad.
Intelligent Environments says it is “in discussion with banks” that might roll out the tech to customers within the next 12 months.
The company conducted a survey of 1,300 UK respondents and found that a third had forgotten their PINs in the past while one in four use the same PIN for all their cards. Those are likely the same people who reuse the same password across multiple sites.
Via Computer world