Easy ATM PIN? Bad idea

Which would you prefer: A $2 fee or a 15-second commercial? (AP)

WASHINGTON – Is your ATM PIN something easy to remember, such as your birth year or 9999?

If so, it’s time to change it.

Thieves are able to unlock more than 25 percent of PIN-protected accounts by trying just 20 combinations out of a possible 10,000, according to a DataGenetics study.

Some systems lock an account if someone makes too many wrong guesses, according to a Bankrate story. But if a thief can guess the PIN in just a few tries because it’s “1234,” they can clean out an account.

Other bad numbers are those associated with famous movies, such as “2001” or “0070” for James Bond. A book title like “1984” is a bad idea, too.

The best PINs are random numbers with no special significance. Even though they’re hard to remember, it could be worth it if a hacker attacks. DataGenetics found the least-used PIN is “8068.” However, hackers can read, too, so use caution when picking a PIN.

According to DataGenetics, the top 10 most-used PINs are the following:

  1. 1234
  2. 1111
  3. 0000
  4. 1212
  5. 7777
  6. 1004
  7. 2000
  8. 4444
  9. 2222
  10. 6969

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @VRobWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.


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