Emojis Could Soon Replace Online Banking Pin Codes


The humble emoji could soon replace numerical passwords and make for safer online banking practices, according to British software company Intelligent Environments.

While it is hard to believe that smiling poo, praying hands and watermelon slices may become the cornerstone for cyber security, the firm claim that unlike our current Pin codes pictures are easier to remember and harder to reproduce.

Alan Brown, product development manager at Intelligent Environments explained the significance of the company's announcement by saying that with emojis we have access to over 'three million password combinations compared to the 7,290 permutations available with Pin codes.'

In theory, an emoji password is more memorable because our brains are better at processing information using pictures.

Tony Buzan, a memory expert speaking on behalf of Intelligent Environments said:

"Images are the prime way of remembering anything you want to remember...[with the emoji password] you help build stories and the brain loves stories, so you remember it."

One of the obvious flaws with the idea is that it still doesn't account for human laziness as most of us often choose patterns or numbers that are the easiest to remember and in the case of emojis, this would include selecting images in the four corners of the screen.

Former memory champion Michael Tipper told the BBC:

"Statistically it will be harder to crack - but if you're presented with a screen of emojis and you can't be bothered to remember a sequence you're going to pick the ones in the four corners or the top row - and then you are left with an equally insecure technology.

"I think what needs to happen is more rigour in terms of testing the behavioural aspect of this."

UK banks are yet to comment on whether they will roll out an emoji lead password system to their customers so we may have to wait a while before smiley faces become the cyber guardians of our savings.

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