Choosing a personal identification number (PIN) for an ATM or credit card should take some consideration. With identity theft rampant, it is important to choose a PIN that cannot be easily guessed.
Tech consultancy company DataGenetics has analyzed the popularity of numeric passwords. What they found confirms previous research that most of our four-digit PINs (e.g., for credit and debit cards) are way too predictable. Check if yours is one of those mentioned in their report.
The data analysed came from exposed password databases. Data Consultancy filtered the results to just those that were exactly four digits long [0-9] and found nearly 3.4 million four-digit passwords. These are used as a proxy for users’ four-digit PIN codes. There are 10,000 possible combinations of digits from 0000 through 9999, and each of those were represented in the dataset.
So out of the 10,000 possible combinations for four-digit codes, which is the most popular? You guessed it: 1234. An alarming ~11% of the 3.4 million passwords are 1234. The top 20 passwords account for nearly 27% of the total.
Looking at the list at right, you’ll see that the numbers are all familiar, easily predictable patterns, such as 0000, 4321, and 1010.
If you’re using the keypad to make a PIN pattern (e.g., 2580 going straight down), chances are hackers can guess that quickly too.Other high frequency PINs are years and dates (e.g., MMDD).
[Source: PIN Analysis ]