Startup beefs up Web security with pictures

SOLANA BEACH —- A new local company has a twist on an old adage: A picture is worth a thousand passwords.

Confident Technologies, a computer software company that launched this year, has created a new system of Internet passwords that uses pictures in place of words.

Instead of requiring a computer user to remember a password to access a website, Confident Technologies’ program asks the user to remember categories such as cars, airplanes and horses. Each time a user logs onto the site, he is shown a set of 12 images that include pictures of cars, airplanes and horses.

He can then click on the correct images to gain access to the site.

“People are so worried about remembering their passwords that they choose simple ones that are easy for a hacker to guess,” said Curtis Staker, the president and CEO of Confident Technologies. “But they don’t need to trade off usability for security. The idea is that instead of having to remember a litany of passwords, all you have to remember are your categories.”

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Posted on Jul 29, 2010

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