Evaluating the Memorability of Different Password Creation Strategies : A Systematic Literature Review

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för informationsteknologi

Abstract: Due to its simplicity and deployability, password authentication is today's most common way of authentication. In conjunction with increasing numbers of accounts per user, the amount of passwords to be remembered is rising as well. This puts a noticeable strain on human memory which users attempt to mitigate by writing them down, reusing them or selecting overly simple ones. In order to prevent such behavior and the security issues it is accompanied by, finding ways to generate memorable passwords is imperative. The conducted systematic literature review aimed to identify to which extent different password creation strategies are facilitating the generation of memorable passwords. Several search term combinations were used to probe four scientific databases for peer-reviewed articles that satisfy distinct selection criteria. Afterwards, backward snowballing was conducted and references of already accepted publications were checked against identical selection criteria. Eventually, 61 accepted articles underwent a qualitative data analysis by means of grounded theory. The analysis showed that different composition strategies entailed substantial differences in memorability. Those that infused passwords with deeper meaning to the user were found easy to remember whereas failing to infuse meaning impeded recall. Overall, user-generated passwords turned out be more memorable than system-generated ones.

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