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visual Key
by David Eaton, Staff Writer - 7/30/2004 11:31am EST

Page 1 - Introduction & First Impressions


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and that is certainly true in many cases - even in the use of graphical images to represent various things from company logos to road signs.

[Image] One reason graphical images are used to represent different things is that they are so easy for us to remember.  Another very important aspect of graphical images is that everybody that looks at the same image will view it in a different way.  If you and I both look at this cartoon, for example, your eyes might focus on various animals where mine might focus on the holes in the ark (Incidentally, this is the image I have set up as my graphical password. It provides a lot of reference points to choose from and therefore makes the login more secure.)

It is this aspect of human nature that makes a graphical security program so effective.  Not only will the combination of reference points that you choose be easily remembered by you but they also offer better security because the possible combinations are a lot larger.  For example, a series of four numbers or letters will yield approximately 10,000 possible combinations whereas the same number of reference points chosen in a photo can yield as many as 100,000,000 combinations.

First Impressions
After just a few minutes of setup visual Key is up and running.  Afterwards I could turn on my Zodiac and, with a few quick taps, unlock the device and be ready to use it.  Tapping a few reference points on a picture is so much quicker and easier than opening the Graffiti area of the screen and writing a series of letters or numbers.  I have, in the past, tried several security applications for the Palm OS and have found this one to be my favorite due to the ease of setup, ability to use virtually any image, and the security that it provides.

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