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A new direction for Security - Emoji icons could replace pin codes

Thanks to a British firm’s new security system, your next passcode to log into your bank account could contain an emoji, replacing the traditional four-digit personal identification number (PIN).

Online banking service provider, Intelligent Environments, claims its "emoji security technology" is easier to remember, offers greater security, and of course, is a lot more fun than numbers with 44 different emoji to choose from.

Emoji are small icons used to express emotions and ideas in electronic communication. Different platforms have their own version of emoji for the same emotions or ideas. For example, the Apple iOS heart emoji looks different to the Android heart emoji, but they both express the same thing.

The company also says that when compared to number-only PINs and passwords, their emoji passcode system is more secure.

"It has 480 times more permutations using emoji over traditional four digit passcodes. Research revealed that one-third of the 1,300 people polled have forgotten their PINs before, and "64% of millennials regularly communicate only using emoji."

Putting the two together seemed the logical conclusion.

The creators behind the new technology recommend building a story to help you remember the sequence. For example, if your passcode was “baby, bike, apple, beer” you could use an imaginary day that begins with a baby's cry, continues with a cycle to work, takes in an apple at lunch and finishes with a beer. The company is currently in talks with banks to roll out the technology over the next 12 months.

Cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward has praised the system, saying the technology would force hackers to run through a greater number of cycles to break the code. However, Lorrie Cranor, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies cybersecurity and passwords, thinks it's a gimmick.

There are obvious drawbacks: For instance, emoji keyboards are often in flux, adding new symbols; PIN systems are the widely accepted standard. However, Mashable reports that the developers are tackling the first problem by only offering a limited number of emoji to choose from.

If you would like to speak to a member of our team to find out more information please contact Maria West on Tel: 01268 494160 or email



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