NEW DELHI: In the age of digital vulnerabilities, safeguarding our online presence is more critical than ever. While traditional alphanumeric passwords have long been the standard, cybersecurity experts are now advocating for a fun twist to enhance the security of your accounts – emojis. According to professionals in the field, these little digital icons can make your passwords stronger and easier to remember.
The Power of Emojis
Emojis, those expressive symbols often used in text messages and social media, have a hidden potential when it comes to fortifying your online security. It turns out that on a computer, emojis are considered symbols, and when combined with letters and numbers, they can significantly bolster the strength of your passwords.
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Stan Kaminsky, a cybersecurity expert with Kaspersky, one of the giants in the industry, explains, “When intruders try to brute-force a password containing letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, there are fewer than a hundred variations for each symbol they need to pick. But there are more than 3,600 standardized emojis in Unicode, so adding one to your password forces hackers to go through around 3,700 variants per symbol.”
In other words, using emojis in your password can increase the complexity of the password, making it exponentially harder for cybercriminals to crack it.
Emojis: The Modern Passkey
Kaminsky suggests that in theory, a password with five emojis is as secure as a traditional password with only nine characters. Furthermore, using seven emojis in your password is equivalent to having a 13-character-long traditional password. The added benefit is that emojis may be more memorable than a jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols, making it easier for you to recall your passwords.
A Defense Against Brute-Force Attacks
Brute-force attacks, where hackers systematically attempt to gain access to an account by trying numerous potential passwords, become more challenging when emojis are in the mix. Hackers face a much larger number of possibilities to crack your password, making their malicious efforts less likely to succeed.
Emojis and Positivity
Besides enhancing security, psychologists have another interesting perspective on using emojis in your passwords. Dr. Mariah G. Schug, a contributor to Psychology Today, has encouraged individuals to consider using affirmations as login passwords. This approach aims to bring a dose of positivity into your life, even if just for a brief moment during sign-in.
Some Precautions to Keep in Mind
While emojis can be a fun and effective addition to your passwords, it’s essential to exercise caution. Not every website or service allows emojis in passwords, so it’s vital to verify the compatibility before implementation. Additionally, using too many emojis in your passkey could slow down the login process.
Kaminsky also recommends avoiding emojis that might be easily guessable, such as frequently used emoticons. Instead, consider incorporating one or two emojis into a traditional alphanumeric password.
Emojis Are No Substitute
It’s important to note that while emojis can strengthen your passwords, they are not a substitute for other essential security practices. Kaminsky emphasizes the significance of using long passwords, employing a password manager, and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure comprehensive online security.
Emojis can add an extra layer of protection to your online accounts while making your passwords more memorable. So, why not embrace these friendly symbols and enhance your digital security, one emoji at a time?