cliff-jones

Introduction

Picture Passwords are a new feature added in Windows 8.  Many security experts consider it to be more secure than a traditional username and password.

What are Picture Passwords?

Picture Passwords allow you to change your login experience and use a picture as a method to login.  Instead of entering a username and password, you sketch gestures over the picture that you choose.  Because of the many data points available on the screen, some experts suggest that this increases the login security.  The change was made to make it easier to login to a touch enabled devices.  When setting up your Picture Password you simply sketch three gestures over the picture.

tiger

How to setup a Picture Password

To setup a Picture Password, go to Control Panel and select User Accounts.  Next, select “Make changes to my account in PC settings”.  On the Accounts page, select “Sign-in options”.  In the Picture password section, click Add.  This will bring you to the Welcome to picture password wizard where you can choose your picture and then set your gestures.

All three gestures are in recorded in order and you must repeat the same order and gestures to login.  You can use a combination of taps, lines, and circles when creating your gesture.  That makes it easy to specify the parts of the image that are important.  Circles and lines are directional.  Meaning, that a circle has an attribute for clockwise or counter-clockwise.  A line stores the beginning and end of the gesture (so a line drawn in the opposite direction between two points would not work).

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Conclusion

Picture Passwords are a convenient and safe way to login to your Windows 8 and newer device.

Additional Resources

MSDN:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/12/16/signing-in-with-a-picture-password.aspx

PC Magazine:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2028724/windows-8-picture-passwords-their-great-untapped-potential.html