Electronic transactions have taken society by storm. In today’s highly technically inclined culture, personal identification numbers, better known as PINs, are used to provide an extra layer of security to protect an account. The purpose of a PIN is to provide individual access to the account, much like a password.
The types of accounts that typically require a PIN number are ATM machines, credit card withdrawals or access, cell phone voicemail to name a few. When selecting a PIN it is important to choose your code carefully. The key to a secure PIN is to select a number combination that is easy enough for you to remember without having to write it down, but hard enough for outsiders to guess the number you have chosen.
Here are a few tips to help you create a secure PIN number that is easy to remember:
*Qualities of a Good PIN
>Use a Combination of Numbers
When selecting a PIN, it’s best to choose a combination of different numbers (i.e. don’t choose a number like 2222 or 1234) that is not easy to guess. Try to avoid choosing one that is so basic anyone can deduce by a few tries. Instead go for a unique combination of numbers.
>Use Multiple PIN Numbers
A higher level of security is to use different PIN numbers for different accounts. It is a good idea to try to avoid using the same PIN for all your accounts because if one is compromised, there is a good chance all your accounts will be compromised if you tend to use the same PIN for everything.
>Identify with your PIN Number
As you choose a PIN, strive to select a number that means something to you, but would be impossible for someone else to figure out.
*What to Avoid When Selecting a PIN
> Don’t Use Personal Information
A wise idea is to be sure the PIN is disconnected from any of your personal information. Never use your address, social security number, telephone number, birthday or anniversary as a PIN. In addition to choosing an easy to guess number, if the thief does not know some of this information, this could further compromise your identity because they can use this information.
>Never share your PIN number
While it may be convenient to share your PIN number with someone else, this isn’t always a good idea. People have falling outs, or the other person may inadvertently compromise the account. It’s best to keep access with yourself in most instances.
>Don’t write down your PIN number
Sometimes it’s hard to remember all the PINs and passwords necessary in today’s society, but writing down PINs defeats the purpose of adding a layer of security to your account. If the PIN fell into the wrong hands, you could suffer a serious loss. Instead, memorize your PIN.
Ideally you want to choose a PIN that is essentially meaningless to the outside world, but something you can relate to. Something like a telephone number or street address to a favorite restaurant, a friend’s telephone number, date you got hired at a job, or a combination of special dates.
PIN numbers are an important aspect of security, and it is important to choose one wisely. However choosing one that is easy to remember can be tricky because you don’t want to get locked out of your accounts or be denied access, yet you don’t want to make it easy enough for someone with less than honorable intentions to guess your PIN.