What do you think is the easiest PIN number to crack?
You probably guessed either 1234 or 1111—and if you did, you’d be correct. The problem is that a recent survey found that out of 3.4 million Canadian bank accounts, 11 per cent of them had 1234 assigned as a current Personal Identification Number. By those odds, a thief has roughly a 1 in 10 chance of guessing any random PIN number bang on.
But don’t worry. Any money that is stolen out of your bank account becomes the bank’s responsibility, and they must reimburse you, right?
Turns out that if your PIN is too easy to guess, the banks may not be there to bail you out (oh, the irony). You won’t even have the luxury of knowing if your current PIN falls into a dangerous category (unless you call them personally, perhaps).
In other words, you need to fend for yourself out there.
Richard Parker learned that lesson the hard way. After forgetting his debit card at a grocery store, he called his bank the next day to cancel it, only to learn that someone had already gone on an $800 spending spree. Because his PIN number was set to 0101, they ruled it was too easy to guess and would not reimburse him.
So how can you avoid getting burned by the banks?
- Avoid codes that use the same number multiple times.
- Don’t use numbers in numerical order.
- Avoid numbers that are grouped together on keyboards (e.g. 2580 is directly down the middle of a number pad).
- Your PIN shouldn’t be based on a significant date like a birthday.
- Be creative, come up with something random and crazy. Then study it like an exam.
And if that wasn’t enough, here are the most common PIN numbers:
(Listed by rank, PIN number, frequency)
#1 1234 10.713%
#2 1111 6.016%
#3 0000 1.881%
#4 1212 1.197%
#5 7777 0.745%
#6 1004 0.616%
#7 2000 0.613%
#8 4444 0.526%
#9 2222 0.516%
#10 6969 0.512%
#11 9999 0.451%
#12 3333 0.419%
#13 5555 0.395%
#14 6666 0.391%
#15 1122 0.366%
#16 1313 0.304%
#17 8888 0.303%
#18 4321 0.293%
#19 2001 0.290%
#20 1010 0.285%
Source: Data Genetics
The conclusion? There’s a stunning lack of creativity out there.
Maybe just get a 5-digit PIN number instead.
Does your PIN number fall into the Top 20? Let us know below!