Pictures may replace passwords

Draw a picture on you iPhone and never forget a password again
Draw a picture on you iPhone and never forget a password again

We've all forgotten a password now and again, especially as we have to remember so many. But a new piece of software is about to change all that.

The technology called BDAS (Background Draw-a-Secret) is being developed for the latest PCs, mobile phones and PDAs and uses pictures instead of your usual letter/number password code.

Sophisticated thieves

Speaking about the new passwords system that was showcased at Newcastle University, Dr Jeff Yan, from the school of computing science, said: "These days we have passwords and Pins to remember in so many aspects of our lives. And they are all coming under increasing threat from ever-more sophisticated thieves.

"Studies have shown that people find it easier to remember images than words or numbers and our system has proven over 1,000 times more secure than people's normal passwords."

The way the system works is that a 'graphical password' is drawn over a picture and the program remembers the pen strokes used, where the image started and what order things were drawn in.

So, if you draw a house, you better remember how many windows you give it.

The software, developed by researchers at Newcastle University is still in the development stage, but it has been chosen as part of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.