Letters and Numbers and Symbols… Oh, My! New Tech to Simplify and Strengthen Our Passwords

The Pico is a small electronic gadget designed to make forgetting your password a thing of the past. Instead of using a password, the consumer will scan a code with his or her Pico, initiating a cryptographic protocol that will allow one to log in. The device itself, however, will only work when it is within distance of its Picosiblings which create “an aura of safety.” When the Pico is outside of that aura it locks, keeping the logins secure.

The system was created by Frank Stanjano, of the University of Cambridge with the intent to both simplify and strengthen the login systems for consumers.

With passwords, you are required to use a different one for every site, it can’t be a dictionary word or a name, it must have a long enough mixture of lowercase, uppercase, digits and symbols, you are not allowed to write it down, etc… but, if they get hacked, then they get blamed for not having followed the rules.”

The Pico is just one of the new innovations developers are introducing to protect the growing amount of information kept online by consumers. Another piece of contemporary technology is BehavioSec a Sweden-based security company that has designed software that identifies how a person types their password. The system reports a 99.7% accuracy rate for detecting rhythm and comparing how the password is typed to how it has been typed in the past. CEO Neil Costigan claims,

Consumers are quite comfortable with pins and passwords and things like our technology makes those more secure.”

Incidences of hacking and data leaks seem to be occurring at a higher rate than ever before. Considering the dependency we have on the Internet to maintain our everyday lives, of which includes our finances, there is great opportunity for further development of security technology, such as the Pico, in the future.


Read more here- “Forget Passwords: This is the Future of Logging In,” (Hamza Ali, NBCNews)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.


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