ATM PIN codes are a vital security feature which guard our financial well-being. Yet, it seems that most of us tend to choose the most predictable PIN codes. In fact, there are certain PIN codes which are used by hundreds of thousands of people, says a new report.
These revelations were made by Nick Berry who is a data scientist. Berry heads the technology consultancy firm Data Genetics and he recently dug into a huge repository of leaked or breached passwords.
According to Berry, people tend to be very predictable when it comes to their PIN codes. ATM PIN codes comprise of four digits, each of which can be any number between 0 and 9. This allows for nearly 10,000 unique combinations.
What is rather astonishing, however, is that a huge number of people decide to choose 1234 as their PIN. In fact, of the 3.4 million passwords he analyzed, Berry says that nearly 11 percent people chose that PIN. Another 6 percent of the users had 1111 as their PIN. Commenting on the predictability of such PINs, Berry says, “It’s amazing how predictable people are. We don’t like hard-to-remember numbers and no one thinks their wallet will get stolen.”
While those are the most popular PIN codes used, people also tend to set their PIN codes to their birthdays and similar other personal information. Berry further says, “People use years, date of birth – it’s a monumentally stupid thing to do because, if you lose your wallet, your driver’s license is in there. If someone finds it, they’ve got the date of birth on there.”
It doesn’t hurt much to choose a more unpredictable and difficult four-digit PIN but most of us don’t want to undergo the hassle of doing so. However, such sloppiness can lead to financial losses in the long run.