Thieves often run a "test charge" on an account to see if the charge goes through unnoticed and then they come back and hit the card with multiple fraudulent charges. 2) Use a date that is special to you, such as 0601 for the date (June 1) that you first visited DisneyLand. Keep your card shielded, especially when someone is uncomfortably close to you - thieves now have card readers that can read your card wirelessly if they can get close enough to it. Check your credit card and bank statements the moment they arrive (or check your online account frequently). Keep these tips in mind to keep yourself and your family protected from PIN identity theft! But if you were careless enough to choose your birth date, a year in the 1900s, or an obvious numerical sequence, his chances go up. For example one might chose the year in which one received his or her first kiss, or the date on which he or she got engaged. Review your home and business with this self-assessment program that will help you understand and manage the risk of identity theft. A series of repeating numbers like 1111, or 2222 are also easy PIN codes to break. Here, there’s always a trade-off between security and convenience. Thieves can easily guess your numbers if you make one of these mistakes: Best Jobs and Careers in Indiana and More, How to Select a PIN Number - Reduce Identity Theft, Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart Ways to Protect You & Your Family from Ripoffs, Bogus Deals & Other Consumer Headaches (AARP), Hacker's Demo Shows How Easily Credit Cards Can Be Read Through Clothes and Wallets, Trusted Advisor Identity Theft Loss Program, 2580 (numbers in a row down the middle of the phone keypad), 0852 (numbers in a row up the middle of a phone keypad), 1998 (must have been a good year for many people). People prefer even numbers to odd, so “2468” ranks higher than “1357.” Far more passwords start with “1” than any other number. How can I Protect my Personal Information Online? For example, the phrase “Four score and seven years ago” can be condensed into the code “4S7YA,” which using a numerical pad creates the PIN “47792.” All rights reserved. 4) If possible, use more than four digits. Also quite common are MM/DD combinations—those in which the first two digits are between “01” and “12” and the last two are between “01” and “31.” So choosing your birthday, your birth year, or a number that might be a lot of other people’s birthday or birth year makes your password significantly easier to guess. However, by avoiding numbers with overtly and guessable personal significance, it is unlikely that a person in possession of one’s ATM card will be able to simply guess one’s PIN. PINs I have used were my Boy Scout Troop Number squared, gear combination of a favorite bike, and the year of birth of a favorite composer. Why so high? According to Kirchheimer, more digits are harder to steal. Sid Kirchheimer has written a book, Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart Ways to Protect You & Your Family from Ripoffs, Bogus Deals & Other Consumer Headaches (AARP), Here is a link to Kerchheimer's original article: Avoid PIN Chagrin. Your mobile phone probably has dozens or hundreds of contacts. Never carry your PIN or a reminder in your wallet. This makes use of the concept of “hiding in plain sight.” For instance, the combination “2580” was the 22nd-most popular in their data set. 4444 5555. If you have any one of these 24 numbers above, or use a number 19XX, consider changing your PIN immediately. It is also time-consuming to replace the card and to update all of your card information for any automatic payments. Choosing a personal identification number (PIN) for an ATM or credit card should take some consideration. Forbes: Hacker's Demo Shows How Easily Credit Cards Can Be Read Through Clothes and Wallets Remember that if your wallet is stolen you don't want to conveniently give the thief your card and your PIN. A PIN like 93725493629364012641274 is very secure, but not very convenient to enter. 3) Use an easily remembered non-dictionary word or acronym to choose your numbers. Question any charge that you don't recognize, ESPECIALLY if it is a small charge, like $.25 or $1.00. PIN choice that seems resistant to breakage can be a number of businesses one needs to know. Wikibuy Review: A Free Tool That Saves You Time and Money, 15 Creative Ways to Save Money That Actually Work. Guidelines For Choosing a PIN. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently google_ad_slot = "5720559519"; One could also use the first two digits and the last two digits of a business telephone number for a PIN. This is another type of PIN that is memorable but unlikely to be easily guessed. PINS I have considered are dates of very long bike rides, and the sum of the area codes I have biked to. In a distant second and third are “0” and “2.” Conversely, a PIN like 7 is very convenient to enter, but not very secure. For example, if one needs to call the cleaners or the kids’ school, and must know these numbers, then the last four digits of the number may make a good choice too. (Although, as Data Genetics acknowledges, you probably shouldn’t go out and choose “8068” now that this is public information.) For example one could use a PIN that reflects the end of … Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. working on her first novel. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. By keeping a PIN unguessable to others, one will have the time to notice the missing card and report it, prior to having one’s money stolen. … For example, if one needs to call the cleaners or the kids’ school, and must know these numbers, then the last four digits of the number may make a good choice too. Half of all passwords are among the 426 most popular (out of 10,000 total). Kirchheimer advises using these guidelines to choose an easy to remember, yet hard to guess PIN: 1) Use the digits from a childhood phone number that is no longer in use. For example, if your PIN is 3282, you can add the phone number 555-923-3282, except use a local-looking phone number—not one with the fictitious 555 area code. Research suggests thieves can guess one in five PINs by trying just three combinations. Way up. Visit my IDTLP Trusted Advisor Program now,