Should You Protect Your Windows 8 PC with a Picture Instead of a Password?

Picture passwords are one an exciting new feature of Windows 8 operating systems. This feature has been met with a lot of excitement, but also a lot of concerns. With this in mind, if you’re upgrading to the new operating system, you need to ask yourself a very important question. Should you consider using the picture password log-in option, or would you be better-suited to sticking with the time-honored alphanumeric input approach?

Is It Simpler?

In basic terms, it could easily be argued that logging into your account for Windows 8 can be simpler with a picture password functionality. It might be faster for many people than physically entering a password from the keyboard, and therefore, could be quite a relief. However, this option isn’t something that everyone is going to be able to do easily, because it requires you to remember very specific gestures, in a particular order, precisely like you did it the first time you made the password.

Is It Safer?

People are being led to believe that this strategy is safer and more secure from unauthorized entry to your computer. In some ways this is true, and in other ways, it’s not. For starters, the possibilities of your potential gesture and touch screen are infinite. Therefore, cracking it could prove to be a problem for someone just wanting to do some snooping. For actual professional hackers who can easily decode alphanumeric passwords, this picture password option can easily be bypassed to return to the standard text entry log in format.

Are There Specific Advantages?

One particular advantage to the picture password approach would be the ease of password entry once you know it. You should be able to get into your account more quickly than before, which in itself is appealing to users. The ability to change your password, including the image with which you set this password, can help keep things interesting, and also limits the chances of anyone figuring out how to access your account.

What Are The Primary Concerns?

Perhaps the biggest concern is the specifics of entering your password. For someone that isn’t exactly keen on details, or maybe doesn’t log into their computer every day, it might not be easy to remember the password you set. Since you need to remember the gestures or touch points and the direction of those gestures and so on, you might fight it more than appreciate it.

It really comes down to personal preference. Some people find this option very easy and much more time effective than the traditional alphanumeric log-in option. Largely, this was Microsoft’s way of changing up a dated log in approach and offering a more modern log-in solution. Whether it’s the right call for you will be something that you need to determine for yourself. You might want to keep your actual password handy, in case you determine that picture passwords simply aren’t for you.

Ryan Hughes writes about technology. His recent work is about the best online mem programs.