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Children encounter difficulties when they login to computers or websites because they have challenges remembering passwords. To improve children’s authentication, we conducted a series of formative studies with children (n = 8, ages 6–11) to understand their authentication practices with respect to a traditional text-based password and a new graphical picture-based password called KidsPic. The results obtained from these initial investigations, a security analysis of these authentication mechanisms, and participatory design sessions with children (ages 6–11) inspired design enhancements to KidsPic. We subsequently conducted a study comparing KidsPic to a traditional text-based authentication mechanism (n = 40, ages 6–11). The results and analysis indicate that children experience significantly more memorability challenges when using an alphanumeric authentication mechanism than with the graphical password KidsPic.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2022, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International license. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction,

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