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If You're Using One of These 10 Credit Card Pin Codes, Change It Now, Study Says

Ward off cyber hackers with a more unique pin code than "1234" or "2222."

Creating a strong and unique passcode has never been more important. According to Governing, more than 350 million people were impacted by data breaches in 2023. A more sophisticated hacker can access your social security number, intellectual property, and even your financial information, including your PIN. Unlike other generic logins, PIN codes prompt credit card holders to select a four-digit sequence. However, a weak PIN number can put you at risk of financial ruin.

A cybersecurity study conducted by Information is Beautiful revealed that pin codes including a variation of "1234" or that are made up of the same number, such as "1111" and "0000," are the most susceptible to being hacked. The data organization surveyed 3.4 million stolen PIN codes using data from Data Genetics to find the 10 most popular—AKA, easiest to guess—credit card PIN codes.

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Unsurprisingly, the most common four-digit PIN of the bunch was "1234." As easy as it is to remember, the PIN puts credit card holders in an extremely vulnerable position because of its weakness. The second most common was "1111," followed by "0000," "1212," and "7777."

Sixth place goes to "1004," while "2000" and "4444" duked it out for seventh and eighth place, respectively. And while "2222" isn't as common as the eight pins that came before it, it is considered rather weak. Of the millions of stolen pin codes, "6969" was also a common numerical pattern.

According to ESET global cybersecurity advisor Jake Moore, the biggest mistake people make when crafting their pin is tying it back to an important date like a birthday or wedding anniversary—all of which are publicly accessible.

"By using simple or easy to guess passcodes it enables attackers to target people more easily," Moore told the Daily Mail. "People continue to use pin codes that are commonly used or those that are related to them and [are] easily accessible, such as dates of birth."

Information is Beautiful also pulled the 10 least common four-digit PINs from the surveyed data breaches and only three of those included two of the same number.

The least common PIN code was "8557," followed by "8438" in second place and "9539" in third. Other lesser-used passcodes include "7063," "6827," "0859," and "6793." These are followed by "0738," "6835," and "8093."

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Cyber thieves are only getting more and more skilled. According to the study, hackers can crack one-third of passcodes within 61 tries. There are several strategies for creating a hard-to-crack PIN code, but Moore advised using a password manager, which can help you both create and remember your many PINs.

"People put themselves at risk by having weak passwords and pin codes and often do not fully understand the threat until they are compromised," Moore told the Daily Mail. "Password managers offer all the security for when such information cannot always be remembered, plus they can help generate completely random codes so you don't rely on your birthday or anniversary."

If your credit card PIN code falls on the most common list or includes a pair or sequence of numbers that can be publicly tied to you, consider changing your pin code now.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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