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Age-Related Performance Issues for PIN and Face-Based Authentication Systems

Lookup NU author(s): James Nicholson


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Graphical authentication systems typically claim to be more usable than PIN or password-based systems, but these claims often follow limited, single-stage paradigm testing on a young, student population. We present a more demanding test paradigm in which multiple codes are learned and tested over a three-week period. We use this paradigm with two user populations, comparing the performance of younger and older adults. We first establish baseline performance in a study in which populations of younger and older adults learn PIN codes and we follow this with a second study in which younger and older adults use two face-based graphical authentication systems employing young faces vs. old faces as code components. As expected, older adults show relatively poor performance when compared to younger adults, irrespective of the authentication material, but this age-related deficit can be markedly reduced by the introduction of age-appropriate faces. We conclude firstly that this paradigm provides a good basis for the future evaluation of memory-based authentication systems and secondly that age-appropriate face-based authentication is viable in the security marketplace.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nicholson J, Coventry L, Briggs P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013)

Year of Conference: 2013

Pages: 323-332

Publisher: ACM


DOI: 10.1145/2470654.2470701

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781450318990