You never forget a face

They aren't real friends - but if you get to know them, they'll give you access.

Ever forget any of the multiple computer passwords you probably use at work?

Tim Valentine, a professor at University of London, suggests the problem of lost passwords can cost some $1 million per year in large organizations with 2,500 desktop computers.

Professor Valentine's proposed solution: A system called "passfaces" whereby all a computer user needs to do is memorize five random faces (you pick the gender) - and not be confused by their similar-looking decoys.

Skeptical? The Work & Money section tried out a practice round (www.passcenter.com) with surprising success.

Our only question: What happens when you do forget a face? Does the computer-help-desk worker respond: "Yeah, she's that one, you know, with the wispy hair."

Compiled by Sara Steindorf

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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