September 29, 2012 02:30 AM

Have You’ve Got A Safe Pin Number?

How many of us have chosen pin numbers for ATM‘s confident in the belief that we have picked a combination that will deter even the most determined thief?

New research from DataGenetics shows that your choice and the data you thought was secure might not be as safe as you first thought.

Quite incredibly the most often selected combination for a Pin is…. 1234!

That’s almost 11% out of a 3.4 million passwords.  And almost as  bad is the fact that 1111 is the next most chosen combination.

Coming in at #22 was the combination 2580 which was at first puzzling to the researchers.  Then they came to the realisation that the reason people chose this sequence was that it was that they were the numbers straight down the middle of a telephone keypad.

Given that there are ten thousand  possible combinations the digits 0-9 can be arranged in to form a four digit code you would think that people would be more inventive.

So what (up until the publication of the research) was the least used pin number?  It turns out to be 8068.  Of course now that the whole world knows this fact so do the hackers, who will no doubt have elevated this combination towards the top of their list.

While data security is a corporate responsibility it is also a personal one.  While the introduction of biometric identification will in the long term significantly enhance log-in safety,  if your pin number is featuring in the table above you might want to change it….and quickly.

Roger Smith
is a Digital Consultant to Web Synergies.