BOSTON (CBS) — There’s a new trend in password protection–adding emoji.

Researchers at Plymouth University in Great Britain have come up with a system, called GOTPass, that uses pictures instead of hard-to-remember passwords for logging in to websites.

First, users are required to come up with a username and then draw a shape on a 4×4 unlock pattern. They’ll then select a set of emojis that they will use to log in. On subsequent login attempts, they will be presented with sixteen emojis–two of their own, along with six similar ones and eight random decoys. Selecting their two emojis out of the bunch will give them a one-time code they will use to complete the login.

Developers said regular passwords don’t really protect their information as well as users think. Their study notes that there are alternative systems, but that they can be expensive. They believe GOTPass could be much less costly for companies to implement. Their study also showed that the pictures are easier for users to remember.

And it’s secure–researchers said that, of 690 attempted hackings of the system, only eight were successful.

A British banking company already introduced passwords that use emojis earlier this year.



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