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.