Secure Your Data with Emojis
- By Ginger Hill
- Jun 15, 2015
Connected to our bank accounts and smartphones are those four numbers in a specific pattern that must be used when trying to get money from an account at an ATM or when trying to access our phones. At some point in history, PIN codes were the latest-and-greatest when it came to high-level security practices, but now, with the sophistication that hacking has taken on, it’s time to get creative in securing our private data.
That’s exactly what Intelligent Environments, a UK-based company, has done. Taking the route of creativity, the company developed a system that allows symbols, mostly emojis, to be used instead of a four-digit PIN code. This makes PINs easier to remember and according to research, using emojis can be more secure than simply using digits.
A traditional PIN code of four digits only has 7,290 unique combinations, but based on 44 non-repeating emojis, Intelligent Environments’ Emoji Password makes 3,498,308 unique combinations possible. This means the “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” monkeys in combination with a heart makes your data 480 times more secure.
Tony Buzan, English author and educational consultant who popularized the ideal of mental literacy and the use of Mind Mapping, applauds the use of emojis for PINs. This is based on Buzan’s research of the human brain and its ability to work better with images by better remembering information in the form of a picture.
Cybersecurity expert Alan Woodward also voiced his support of this system, indicating that hackers would have far more combinations to work through. However, Woodward also suggested that the use of emojis should still be paired with two-factor authentication.
Ginger Hill is Group Social Media Manager.