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Tenth International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2016)
Title: Memorable and Secure: How Do You Choose Your PIN?
Author(s): Andreas Gutmann, Melanie Volkamer, Karen Renaud
Keywords: Authentication, PINs, PIN change, user advice
Abstract: Managing all your PINs is difficult. Banks acknowledge this by allowing and facilitating PIN changes. However, choosing secure PINs is a difficult task for humans as they are incapable of consciously generating randomness. This leads to certain PINs being chosen more frequently than others, which in turn increases the danger of someone else guessing correctly. We investigate different methods of supporting PIN changes and report on an evaluation of these methods in a study with 152 participants. Our contribution is twofold: We introduce an alternative to system-generated random PINs, which considers people’s preferred memorisation strategy, and, secondly, we provide indication that presenting guidance on how to avoid insecure PINs does indeed nudge people towards more secure PIN choices when they are in the process of changing their PINs.
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