Report advices caution while choosing the four-digit PIN
20 September 2012
If a person were asked to guess his or her four-digit PIN, randomly, the odds of getting the correct number would be one in 10,000 tries - or if he had three tries it would be one in 3333. However, if one were careless enough to choose his/her birth date, say a year in the 1900s or an obvious numerical sequence, the chances would be much better, according to Slate magazine.
According to Slate, researchers at the data analysis firm Data Genetics have found the three most popular combinations - 1234, 1111, and 0000 - accounting for close to 20 per cent of all four-digit passwords.
Also, every four-digit combination starting with 19 ranks above the 80th percentile in popularity, while those in the upper-1900s coming in the highest.
Quite popular in the US at least are MM/DD combinations- those with the first two digits between 01 and 12 and the last two between 01 and 31.
So, it may not be a good idea to choose your birth date, your birth year or a number that might be a lot of other people's birthday or birth year making it significantly easier to guess your password.
At the other end of the scale, the least popular combination - 8068 is used less than 0.001 per cent of the time. But, according to Data Genetics, that would not be a good choice now that the information is public.