Archive for March, 2013

Top Ten Tips for PIN Security

Posted on: March 6th, 2013 by Ian Stormnet

Keeping Your PIN Secure

This blog explains why you need to choose the right PINs for your cards and how to keep them safe from prying eyes.

Many people often use PIN patterns when it comes to choosing a PIN for their card. However, these types of patterns should be definitely avoided. Choosing a random PIN pattern makes your PIN much more secure BUT you still have to remember the number so why not follow our top ten tips for PIN security:


Never make the mistake of writing down your PIN number and then leave it in the same place as your card. What we mean is don’t keep it in the wallet where you keep your card is kept as this is just inviting a thief to use your card.


If you have more than one PIN, then keep a list of your PIN numbers in a safe place at home. Create yourself a little black book of PIN and passwords. Add a little touch of extra security by not writing the full PIN/password. Instead write yourself a little hint. For example if your 4 digit PIN is the month and year you were born then write down ‘month and year born’.


Always choose an extremely good PIN number, a number which will be totally random to anyone else but you and make sure you stick with this number. A PIN is different to a password as you don’t need to keep changing a PIN.


Don’t make the mistake of using the same PIN number for multiple devices. Remember the old proverb ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. The last thing you want is everything to become compromised because one PIN has become exposed.


Always be careful when entering PIN number. The most common way for your PIN to be exposed to the bad guys is by them watching you enter. Your PIN can become exposed at bars, an ATM even in a shop. Always try and cover the keypad as you enter your PIN and be aware of your immediate surroundings. You never know who is watching you. As soon as the baddies know your PIN it doesn’t take them long to target you and this is something you need to avoid at all costs.


You have heard the saying ‘keep your cards close to your chest’. Well this applies to your PIN but keep it closer. Never divulge the PIN number for your debit/credit card to anyone. And remember, a bank will never ask you for your PIN over the phone.


We all tend to use birthdays or other memorable dates for a PIN. However, this is bad practice. When the baddies are searching for information about you, they often target dates of birth, wedding anniversaries and other important dates which they know are memorable to you. They then know these are the ones most likely to be used for a PIN number. Effectively you are making it easier for them to guess your PIN number.


Never ever create a PIN number from the numbers printed on your debit/credit card. One of the four digit groups on the card may seem like a good idea but should be avoided at all costs.


Always be aware of keypads when entering a PIN number. The keypad can become worn showing indication of what the 4 numbers are that are used to make up the PIN. For example a house alarm may have smudge marks and finger print marks on it or a smart phone may have smudge marks on the unlock sequence.


Finally, if you think your password or PIN number has become exposed or compromised, then change it immediately. Even if you are not sure, don’t wait to change it just do it. You can never be too careful and it is better to be safe than sorry.

We hope you found this blog useful, please do leave us a comment if you have any additional PIN security tips.