Choosing a PIN Without Getting Hacked

PIN numbers are used everywhere. From unlocking your phone to accessing your bank account, Personal Identification Numbers are universally used as a security measure. The unfortunate part is that these are generally only four digits long- giving a potential hacker a 1 in 10,000 chance of breaking in on the first attempt, unless one uses a predictable sequence.

When setting a PIN, don’t ever use something someone can easily guess. Even simple information about yourself, when utilized as a PIN, can give yourself away. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Birthday or year you were born, married, graduated, etc. (or anything that starts with 19xx)
  • Easy sequences, such as 1234, 1111, 2468, ect.
  • The last four digits of your phone number (I had an ex girlfriend that did this, and her bank account was broken into)
  • Your address
  • Social security numbers
  • Anything that would be in a row or column on a keypad (such as the column 2580)

Slate has a good article explaining more about the statistics of PIN numbers here.