Are emojis the future of online security?

Jack Blog

July 1st, 2015 By Jack Morton

The Story

It feels like we’ve been hearing a lot about emojis lately…from broadening the spectrum of emoji options, to a notable taco omission, to emojis for introverted people (called….wait for it…introjis), these illustrative characters are taking the stage. And it’s not just about how you text anymore – a few weeks ago, Norwegian Airlines created a website URL made entirely of emojis. So what’s next for them? Introducing: emojis as the future of online security.

Can you guess my password? 

A British start-up claims that 4-digit emoji passwords are almost 500 times more secure than numerical pin codes. Also, they’re harder to forget because we’re better at remembering pictures than numbers – this dates back to when we lived in caves and painted on walls. Of course, emoji pin codes are geared towards a certain generation that starts with an M and rhymes with shmillenial. 64% of Millennials regularly communicate with emojis, so obviously the next step is an emoji ATM pin code.

Some quick math

There are only 10,000 options for your basic 4-digit pin. If that seems like a lot of options, just realize it’s slightly less than the number of followers Jon Heder has on Twitter. On the other hand, emojis offer 3.8 million more possible combinations. This is pretty good, although the fact of the matter is that 4-digit pin codes still struggle at protecting your info. Eight character passwords give you the option of 208 billion combinations, and ten character passwords that use upper and lower-case letters offer 5 quintillion…so emoji pin codes may be fun but until there are as many taco emojis as trains they’re possibly not the best choice for protecting your data. (Note: There are at least 12 train emojis).