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If this is your PIN code, it's time for change

Posting in Finance

In times where digital security is paramount, the general public -- as well as business figures -- still stick to the "easy to remember" solutions for email, personal accounts, and even for their finances.

The problem is, if they are easy for you to remember, they are also easy for others to crack. That's why a team of researchers from Data Genetics analyzed 3.4 million real-use PIN codes to find the top ten that are most vulnerable -- and therefore a gift for criminals should they acquire your card.

The results are staggering. Reminiscent of the use of the "QWERTY" password, 11 percent of all PIN numbers in use rely on the most simple combination possible -- 1234, whereas the least-used code was 8068.

In addition, variations using just one digit -- such as 7777 or 0000 -- were very common.

1234 is more popular than the lowest 4,200 PIN numbers recorded, and all in all, ten percent of codes can be guessed in one go. Combined with the other popular variations, almost a third of all PIN numbers can be guessed using just 20 combinations.

The Data Genetics researcher commented:

"If you are a consumer and you recognize any of the numbers to be your passwords/pins I hope you apply common sense and immediately change them to something a little less predictable. Alternatively, you could be lazy and not change things (In that case, at least the only person you are harming with this apathy is yourself.)"

The most commonly used PIN numbers are below:

  • 1234
  • 1111
  • 0000
  • 1212
  • 7777
  • 1004
  • 2000
  • 4444
  • 2222
  • 6969

Via: Yahoo

Image credit: Flickr

— By on August 4, 2013, 9:26 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure