Contact: Diane Reed
Caption: As more people use smart phones or tablets to pay bills, make purchases, store personal information and even control access to their houses, the need for robust password security has become more critical than ever. A new Rutgers study shows that free-form gestures -- sweeping fingers in shapes across the screen of a smart phone or tablet -- can be used to unlock phones and grant access to apps. These gestures are less likely than traditional typed passwords or newer "connect-the-dots" grid exercises to be observed and reproduced by "shoulder surfers" who spy on users to gain unauthorized access.
Credit: Michael Sherman, Gradeigh Clark, Yulong Yang, Shridatt Sugrim, Arttu Modig, Janne Lindqvist, Antti Oulasvirta, and Teemu Roos; Rutgers University, Max-Planck Institute for Informatics and University of Helsinki.
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Related news release: Are squiggly lines the future of password security?