sesa 21(28): e1

Research Article

Impact of Personality Types and Matching Messaging on Password Strength

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.1-6-2021.170012,
        author={Anna Bakas and Anne Wagner and Spencer Johnston and Shelia Kennison and Eric Chan-Tin},
        title={Impact of Personality Types and Matching Messaging on Password Strength},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Security and Safety},
        keywords={Password, Password Strength, Personality, Matching Messages},
  • Anna Bakas
    Anne Wagner
    Spencer Johnston
    Shelia Kennison
    Eric Chan-Tin
    Year: 2021
    Impact of Personality Types and Matching Messaging on Password Strength
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.1-6-2021.170012
Anna Bakas1,*, Anne Wagner1, Spencer Johnston1, Shelia Kennison2, Eric Chan-Tin2
  • 1: Loyola University Chicago
  • 2: Oklahoma State University
*Contact email:


People often create passwords for their accounts that are insecure. An insecure password is often easy to guess– thus, hackers can easily access their victims’ accounts. It is important for users to know how to create and manage secure passwords so they can better protect themselves from hackers. It is well-known that different users have different personality types, such as Big Five and True Colors. This research examines if there is any link between personality types and password security behavior. Each participant was shown either a matching or mismatching message based on their personality type, and it was measured whether their password security behavior changed a month later. Our results show that 66% of participants with a Green (knowledgeable and competent) personality type chose a strong password, compared to less than 50% of other personality types. Our results also demonstrate that messaging has a statistical impact on improving password security behavior.