PiXi: an approach to nudge secure password creation
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Passwords, a first line of defense against unauthorized access, must be secure and memorable. However, people often struggle to create secure passwords they can recall. To address this problem, we design Password inspiration by eXploring information (PiXi), a novel approach to nudge users towards creating secure passwords. PiXi is the first of its kind that employs a password creation nudge to support users in the task of generating a unique secure password themselves. PiXi prompts users to explore unusual information right before creating a password, to shake them out of their typical habits and thought processes, and to inspire them to create unique (and therefore stronger) passwords. PiXi’s design aims to create an engaging, interactive, and effective nudge to improve secure password creation. We conducted a user study (N = 238) to compare the efficacy of PiXi to typical password creation. Our findings indicate that PiXi’s nudges do influence users’ password choices such that passwords are significantly longer and more secure (less predictable and guessable).