SemanticLock: An authentication method for mobile devices using semanticallylinked images

Ilesanmi Olade, Hai-ning Liang, Charles Flemming*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contribution


We introduce SemanticLock, a single factor graphical authentication solution for mobile devices. SemanticLock uses a set of graphical images as password tokens that construct a semantically memorable story representing the user`s password. A familiar and quick action of dragging or dropping the images into their respective positions either in a \textit{continous flow} or in \textit{discrete} movements on the the touchscreen is what is required to use our solution.
The authentication strength of the SemanticLock is based on the large number of possible semantic constructs derived from the positioning of the image tokens and the type of images selected. Semantic Lock has a high resistance to smudge attacks and it equally exhibits a higher level of memorability due to its graphical paradigm.
In a three weeks user study with 21 participants comparing SemanticLock against other authentication systems, we discovered that SemanticLock outperformed the PIN and matched the PATTERN both on speed, memorability, user acceptance and usability. Furthermore, qualitative test also show that SemanticLock was rated more superior in like-ability. SemanticLock was also evaluated while participants walked unencumbered and walked encumbered carrying "everyday" items to analyze the effects of such activities on its usage.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputarXiv Preprint server
Number of pages20
Publication statusIn preparation - 01 Jul 2020


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