How Safe Is Your Bank ATM PIN?

Tuesday, September 25th 2012, 8:26 am
By: Dave Davis

It's the four-digit code that controls access to your bank account.  A data analysis blog recently pored over 3 million stolen PINs, and you won't believe the most common ATM pin code.

It's as easy as 1234. Researchers for the data analysis blog DataGenetics found almost 11 percent of people use that for their ATM PIN.

The blog got the PIN numbers from a database of 3.4 million stolen codes that had been made public.

It found that an average thief who's just randomly trying to guess someone's ATM PIN has about a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting it right, but their chances go way up if they start guessing, for example, birthdays or almost-too-obvious-to-believe combinations, like 1234.

The 3 most commonly used PIN numbers, according to DataGenetics:

  • 1234 – 11 percent
  • 1111 – 6 percent
  • 0000 – 2 percent

The blog says thieves have a 20-percent chance of guessing your ATM code, by using those first 3 combinations.  

But there is another side to the story.  Researchers also found that the safest PIN, the one that is least likely to be used according to their data, is 8068.  They warn that thieves also will read this story and will move that combination up high on their list of numbers to try.

Find out where your pin ranks according to DataGenetics research.