Urgent warning as most popular PIN numbers are revealed – is yours on the list? | UK | News

As cyber criminals lurk in the shadows looking to pounce on vulnerable victims a security company has revealed the most popular PIN numbers.

And if yours matches one of the top ten a security expert has given a stern warning to change it to avoid being scammed.

Personal identification numbers (PINs) serve as gatekeepers to our online financial accounts, devices and other sensitive information. The concept of a four-digit PIN may seem simple.

But with only 10,000 possible combinations achieving a unique one can be a bit of a challenge.

Now a cyber security company – EarthWeb – has delved into the PINs people most commonly use.

According to data gathered from exposed password tables and security breaches – which detailed over 3.4 million four-digit PINs – the most common PINs often feature patterns that make them easy to remember but also easy to guess.

These PINs often feature repeated digits, sequential numbers or significant dates. An astonishing 10.7 percent of the PINs collected were “1234” while the top three PINs accounted for almost 20 percent of the total.

Trevor Cooke, Privacy Expert at EarthWeb, said: “A strong PIN should be treated with the same level of care as a password, as it serves as a critical line of defence against unauthorised access.

“Regularly updating your PIN and avoiding the use of the same PIN across multiple accounts can further enhance your security.”

He added: “By choosing a unique and strong PIN, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cybercriminals and safeguard your personal and financial well-being.”

The top 10 most common PINs are: 











The Least Common PINs:











Choosing a truly random PIN will increase security – but it can make the number difficult to recall.

Here are some tips from Trevor to get it right.

Use the Word Method

Associate your PIN with a word by mapping the numbers to letters on a telephone keypad. For example, the word “SAFE” translates to the PIN “7233”. Choose an uncommon word that’s unlikely to be guessed.

Utilise Meaningful Dates

While avoiding easily guessable dates like birthdays or anniversaries, you can still use a meaningful date as your PIN, such as the day you adopted a pet or the date of your first date with your partner. Combine or alter the numbers to make it more unique.

Use Long PINs

Many systems allow longer PINs beyond 4 digits. The more digits your PIN has, the harder it is for anyone to crack. Use a secure password manager to store lengthy, random PINs.

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