Title: A Peer Pressure Method for Helping End-Users Generate Strong Passwords

Issue Number: Vol. 7, No. 4
Year of Publication: Dec - 2018
Page Numbers: 480-487
Authors: S. Agholor, I. O. Akinyemi
Journal Name: International Journal of Cyber-Security and Digital Forensics (IJCSDF)
- Hong Kong
DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.17781/P002534


Passwords have continued to play dominant role in online authentication systems. Consequently, it has become a great target for hackers. To mitigate these attacks, various websites have device means of educating their users on how to create strong passwords. One common form of educating users is through the existing feedback mechanism in which the user’s password strength is computed and the result of the computation is displayed instantaneously as weak/good/strong. However, this form of education has been widely used for decades despite some of its drawbacks. In this work, a social class pressure system was proposed as an alternative to correct the identified flaws. The system takes the users’ passwords, computes the strength and compares it with other users’ passwords and reports, for example, “your password is 66% weaker than other users’ passwords”. With the pressure from the user’s social class peers, the user will be motivated to change his password to at least a level where he/she can beat the majority of other users’ passwords’ strength. The system was implemented using PHP. A total of one thousand one hundred and one participants were used to test the system and existing systems for comparative analysis. The result showed that the proposed system is a better method of helping users generate strong passwords.