KidsDoodlePass: An Exploratory Study of an Authentication Mechanism for Young Children

Esra Alkhamis, Helen Petrie, Karen Renaud, Nathan Clarke, Steven Furnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Textual passwords are problematic for young children, whose cognitive, memory and linguistic capabilities are still developing. A possible alternative to using text for authentication systems for young children is drawings. In this paper, we describe an authentication system called KidsDoodlePass, which use simple drawings (“doodles”) that the children themselves create. An initial evaluation of the system was undertaken with 19 children aged 6 to 9 years of age. Success of logging in with KidsDoodlePass was high, only on few occasions did a child need more than one attempt, demonstrating that the system is effective. Selection times dropped significantly on the second use of the KidsPassDoodle and were typically under 10 s per grid. Most children thought their KidsDoodlePass would be easier to remember than a text password, a significant proportion. These positive results suggest that KidsDoodlePass could be a useful mechanism for young children to use as a first experience of authentication and a useful first step toward adult authentication systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHAISA 2020
Subtitle of host publication14th International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance
EditorsNathan Clarke, Steven Furnell
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783030574031
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology (IFIPAICT)


  • authentication systems
  • usable security
  • KidsDoodlePass
  • children

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