The search for a system that thwarts hackers without complicating identity management for computer users is like a race with false starts and a retreating finish line. Undeterred, software companies are betting on technology. Kim-Phuong L. Vu, Ph.D., sees a role for mind power in the search. As one more tool for keeping computerized accounts safer from intruders, the California researcher is training users to remember their passwords.
It is no small task. The average user has 40 personal and professional accounts that require usernames and passwords, according to software company WiKID.
Dr. Vu is an assistant professor of psychology and human factors expert at California State University-Long Beach (CSULB). Her latest book, published by CRC Press in 2006, is Stimulus-Response Compatibility: Data, Theory, and Application. In 2005, she edited the handbook, Human Factors in Web Design for LEA Publishers.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2006-05-09.