If typing in 12345 represents the most unsafe extreme of the password spectrum, researchers at Binghamton University suggest this represents the safest: your own brainwaves. As they explain in a post at Eureka Alert, the scientists read dozens of acronyms to volunteers and measured their brains' reaction to them. The reactions to each set of letters were so distinct that a computer was later able to identify volunteers with 94% accuracy based on their "brainprints." The results, published in the journal Neurocomputing, suggest the possibility that people might be able to unlock websites by sitting in front of a computer and "thinking about certain words," says a post at Tech Times.
Lead researcher Sarah Laszlo even makes the case that such "brainprints" are more secure than fingerprints. If the latter is stolen, it's permanent trouble. But "in the unlikely event that attackers were actually able to steal a brainprint from an authorized user, the authorized user could then 'reset' their brainprint." One BU researcher thinks this technique probably isn't viable for the masses because, as Gizmag puts it, "who wants to hook themselves up to an electroencephalograph (EEG) just to log into their email." Instead, the most likely applications in the near future would be for high-security sites such as the Pentagon. (Your trusty old password may be insecure, but it probably says a lot about you.)