A Study on Priming Methods for Graphical Passwords

by   Zach Parish, et al.

Recent work suggests that a type of nudge or priming technique called the 'presentation effect' may potentially improve the security of Passpoints-style graphical passwords. These nudges attempt to prime or non-intrusively bias user password choices (i.e., point selections) by gradually revealing a background image from a particular edge to another edge at password creation time. We conduct a large-scale user study (n=865) to develop further insights into the presence of this effect and to perform the first evaluations of its usability and security impacts. Our usability analyses indicate that these priming techniques do not harm usability. Our security analyses reveal that the priming techniques measurably alter the security of graphical passwords; however, this effect is dependent on the combination of both the image and priming techniques used.


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