Password psychology

From ArticleWorld

Password psychology is a field of cryptography and psychology that studies how passwords are chosen and what determines users to choose a certain password. The discipline reveals several details about the way users remember and choose passwords, allowing system administrators to improve the safety of the passwords.

Basic studies

It has been demonstrated that users usually remember passwords by associating them with something. This is done either mnemonically, where users associate letters and numbers with a certain meaning, or mechanically, learning the password by heart but associating it with a certain movement of their fingers on the keyboard. For example, a Pink Floyd fan may remember gbBs2u as "good bye Blue sky to you" (close to the lyrics of a Pink Floyd song). Other users may have no other alternative than learning the password by heart. However, it will be more difficult for them to remember it when using a different keyboard map, even when the keyboard map is only slightly different (for example, Eastern keyboard maps often interchange the location of the Y and Z keys on Western keyboard maps).

These studies were a stepping stone in discovering several yet unknown facts about password choices, allowing some cryptographic schemes to be developed separately, especially for people with disabilities, for example.