I recently visited a financial institution to learn more about how they anticipate and respond to technology advances in both Web design and gadgetry. One of the coolest things I learned about is called “pictorial passwords.” The idea has been around for a long time – Slashdot has a post about it from 2001 – but apparently it is gaining traction.

You choose a series of personal photos that are then mixed in with stock photos. Apparently, you can always pick out your snapshot of a generic-looking sunset or your own baby’s face. Taking it a bit further, no personal pictures are used, but you are told which stock photos to click on in a certain order – a concentration game that many people apparently prefer over the memorization of the many nUmBer$ & K@r@kters that are required these days.