How Safe Is Your Pin?
This article explains everything you need to know with respect to personal identification numbers. Basically, the four digit number may be seen as little, it plays a significant role with respect to the security of your finances. One may ask, of what use is PINs? Can someone else guess your PIN?
The Automatic Teller Machine was invented by a man in 1967. He felt a six digit code was preferred to be used as security, but his wife suggested that four digit would be a lot easier to remember. A secret numeric password, shared between a user and a system is referred to as a PIN. This enables the system to verify the identity of the user. It is normally used with ATMs, debit and credit cards and point of sale terminals. Some systems allows users to choose their PINs while others are assigned a randomly chosen PIN.
PIN is an acronym for Personal Identification Number. It is usually restricted to a four digit for the ease of usability. In a survey, nearly half of the respondents admitted to sharing their PINs with a third party. When arranged to form four digits, numbers 0 – 9 can form a total of ten thousand (10,000) combinations.
An analysis was performed by DataGenetics.com during which about four million exposed PINs were collated. Every single one of the 10,000 possible combinations for a four digit pin was included and the following discoveries were made:
Most Popular Pins
The most popular PIN number is: 1234
The most used PIN and the percentage of contribution.
1234 – 10.7%
1111 – 6.02%
0000 – 1.088%
1212 – 1.20%
7777 – 0.75%
1004 – 0.62%
2000 – 0.61%
4444 – 0.53%
2222 – 0.52%
6969 – 0.51%
9999 – 0.45%
3333 – 0.42%
5555 – 0.40%
6666 – 0.39%
1122 – 0.37%
1313 – 0.30%
8888 – 0.30%
4321 – 0.29%
2001 – 0.29%
1010 – 0.29%
Least Used Pins
It is recommended that you do not change your pins to any of these listed as hackers may be aware of theses ones. The best pins are those that cannot be memorized.
Here is the list of least used pins and the percentage contribution.
7637 – 0.00095%
6835 – 0.00095%
9629 – 0.00095%
8093 – 0.00089%
8068 – 0.00074%
Interesting Discoverings About Pins
• Researchers were amazed to discover PINs like 2580 at the top of the list. He later discovered that it was the key that ran through the middle of a phone’s key pad.
• Of all PINs sampled, 17.8% of the sample were couplet pairs like YZYZ, 1313. Other common pins can be formed from birthdays also.
• This is not the best practise as every single 19XX combination was found among the mostly used codes.
• Of all codes, about 35% can be guessed by trying out 61 different combinations.
How can you keep your PIN safe?
• Make sure your PIN is not easy to guess.
• PINs should not be written on the card in your wallet.
• Different Cards should have different PINs.
• As you enter your PIN in an ATM machine, shield your PIN.