The Worst PIN Numbers

According to this post by Data Genetics, when it comes to security, we’re even worse with our PIN numbers* than we are with our passwords.  An analysis of millions of leaked PINs reveals humans are terrible at picking hard-to-crack 4-digit codes.  Their findings:

  • The most popular PIN is 1234 (!)
  • PINs like 1111, 2222, 3333, etc. are also very popular
  • PINs beginning with 19 (e.g. 1976) are used way too often
  • Consecutive numbers (e.g. 5678) are used way too often
  • Repeated couplets (e.g. 7878) are used way too often
  • Month/date combinations (e.g. 1027) are used way too often

27% of all accounts have a PIN number that falls in the top 20 most frequently used.  That means over a quarter of all accounts could be cracked in just 20 tries!  Not only that, just guessing 1234 will get you into over 10% of all accounts (as well as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s email account)!

The least commonly used (and theoretically the most secure) PIN?  8068.  That would be literally the last number a hacker would try.  Except now that it’s known to be the most secure, hackers are sure to try it sooner, which, ironically, makes it very unsecure.

*I realize that “PIN number” is redundant but it’s common usage.


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