MIMS Final Project 2019

BEAM: Reimagining Password Management

Passwords and login information are not only a common part of most people’s everyday life, but they also control access to some of the most important aspects of it, such as banking and finances, medical services, social media, and other sensitive personal information. However, many people still make and use weak passwords. Some will use the same password for multiple services, and some do use complex and unique passwords, but forget their passwords frequently. Although there are existing password manager solutions that attempt to help people reduce the cognitive load of creating and memorizing complicated credentials, these types of tools have not been widely adopted. Existing password manager solutions are likely not being used by many due to the perception of them being not valuable and/or difficult to use. How do we remedy this to make password managers more valuable and approachable?

Most people operate on the assumption that passwords should be kept secret and never shared. However, the reality is that password sharing is more common than we think. Have you ever managed joint banking accounts with your spouse? Shared shopping accounts, like Amazon? Shared Github accounts with your coworkers? Helped your parents or grandparents remember and manage their passwords? 41% have shared the password to one of their accounts with a friend or family member and 73% won’t reset their password after sharing. Both at work and at home, we all need to share passwords sometimes for a variety of reasons. And we know sharing passwords can be risky. Unsafe password practices like re-using passwords and not changing them after sharing can endanger our online security. We aim to design a solution that normalizes sharing and helps people feel more in control and competent when sharing passwords, with the ultimate goal of encouraging people to adopt better password management practices all around.

BEAM is a native iOS mobile application and browser extension developed using Swift that helps people safely share their logins with their friends and loved ones and turns sharing into an opportunity for improving password security.

Last updated:

May 13, 2019