Picture Password for Windows 8

Microsoft is developing a new login method for the upcoming Windows 8. It is called Picture Password. It is designed for more secure login than password and makes good use of the capability of a touchscreen device e.g. tablet.

Passwords can be insecure as many users tend to pick unsafe passwords. Hackers can perform dictionary attacks or just by guessing common passwords. We have seen Google Android devices, iPhones and iPads allowing users to log into the device by drawing line through a 9-dot matrix. This makes login faster on a touchscreen device. As there are many ways to draw the line, it makes it harder to guess.

Taking this concept further, Microsoft is developing a new picture password sign-in system which uses a picture in the user’s device as the base. Then the user can set up a picture password which requires the user to tap, line and circle on the picture. The locations of such tap, line and circle on the picture are up to the user. This effectively gives lots of combinations and makes it difficult to guess what actions are needed to log into the touchscreen device.

One downside is that it may be easy for people to look over the shoulder and see the input gesture. It is also planned that after repeated fail login, the user can enter the password the device was first used. This brings back the insecure password problem. Still, users should always be aware that there is never perfect security. They should always use computing devices with care and pick safe passwords.

For more information on picture password, please visit: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/12/16/signing-in-with-a-picture-password.aspx

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