Volume 13 Number 6 (Jun. 2018)
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JCP 2018 Vol.13(6): 692-704 ISSN: 1796-203X
doi: 10.17706/jcp.13.6.692-704

Passwords and User Behavior

Tehreem Hussain, Kiran Atta, N. Z. Bawany, Tehreem Qamar
Department of Computer Science and IT, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi, Pakistan.
Abstract—Text based passwords are commonly used for authentication in computing environment. Although passwords are considered as the initial line of protection for users but they remain easy to compromise. To improve the security of systems, various password composition polices are adopted. These policies ensure that users are made to choose strong passwords that help prevent online breaches and data leaks. However, it also make passwords difficult to memorize and recall, decreasing the overall usability. In this study we investigated the usability of password policies and users’ perceptions of password security. We conducted a user study based on experimental evaluation and online survey. During the experimental evaluation users were asked to set their passwords using four different password polices. We used multiple experiment setups and scenarios to create real life situations. The result highlights the key difficulties faced by the users in recalling complex passwords and their inclination towards setting easy-to-guess passwords. We also studied the impact of age and domain knowledge on choosing passwords. The analysis shows that complex password polices are annoying for users and it takes more time to create such passwords. Similarly, to increase the memorability of passwords majority of users choose family member names and common dictionary words in their passwords. Using same passwords for the multiple accounts was also a common practice noticed during the study. We also evaluated the resistance of passwords created by the users against popular attacks using various password cracking tools.

Index Terms—Password usability, password security, password policies, password behavior.

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Cite: 作者, "Passwords and User Behavior," Journal of Computers vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 692-704, 2018.

General Information

ISSN: 1796-203X
Abbreviated Title: J.Comput.
Frequency: Monthly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Liansheng Tan
Executive Editor: Ms. Nina Lee
Abstracting/ Indexing: DBLP, EBSCO,  ProQuest, INSPEC, ULRICH's Periodicals Directory, WorldCat, CNKI,etc
E-mail: jcp@iap.org
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