These Numeric Passwords Will Get You Hacked

03/03/2014 12:59 EST | Updated 05/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Are you guilty of creating ridiculously easy pins or numeric passwords in order to remember them? If so, then you're not alone. In my youth I worked for a phone company and was tasked with helping customers set 4-digit pin codes for personal calling cards. During my time there, it became evident how incredibly crackable the average customer's pin was. Below, I have listed the most popular numeric phone card pins, credit card pins, bank card pins, garage door codes, iPad passwords, etc.

Check the list below to see if your four-digit password is on this list, and if so, please change it to something more random, secure and less crackable. After all, there is a pool of 10,000 different combinations available from which to select a 4-digit pin and yet the same passwords are repeatedly selected by the general population.

1234: Ascending Pin - 80% of my customers asked for "1234" as a pin, which meant that 8 out of 10 times, any crook on the street could guess their pin. Having a pin number this easy is just looking for trouble, and in the event that your wallet goes missing or stolen, there's a good chance that your accounts will be compromised.

4321: Descending Pin - Whenever I advised my customers against picking "1234" as a pin, about 90% of them opted for the descending password of "4321." Again, this is not much better than selecting the world's easiest pin of "1234." A word from the wise: ascending and descending pins are very easy to crack.

2468: Counting by 2s - I bet you think that you're being tricky by having a pin that counts by 2s. However, the pin "2468" is very easy to crack -- and predictable. This pin was the third choice of customers who were advised against picking "1234" or "4321."

1111: Quadruplets - Four identical numbers in a row are very easy to remember, but also tremendously easy to crack -- by intuition and by the shoulder-surfing thief. The most popular quadruplet pin in my experience has been the infamous "0000."

1000: Thousands -- 1000, 2000, 3000, and their compatriots are all 4-digit pin numbers that are easy to crack. Any number followed by many zeroes is a password that even a monkey could figure out. Choose something more complicated.

1212: The Repeater -- I call this one the repeater, because the same 2-digit number is repeated. For example, a 25-year old opts for 2525 because this is his or her age. Not only is this a simple and easy to crack pin, but it's very unsecure to create a password that uses personal information that the average person can access.

1122: Doubling Up - This is not much better or more challenging than "The Repeater" ("1212"). Find a different pin, or risk having it cracked.

1969: Birth Year - Could you ever guess that many of my customers chose their actual birth year as a 4-digit pin? Hands up if your pin number also starts with a "19." If you raised your hand, do yourself a favour and change your pin asap.

2014: The Current Year - If you have the current year as your password, let's face it: your password is bound to be cracked. After all, how many people know that this year is 2014? Everybody.

1204: Birth Date, Anniversary Date, Child's Birth Day - This is a very popular choice, sometimes consisting of month and day, or month and year. If this is your current pin, I urge you to change it right away. Actually, I'm betting this is your password.

0001: Crazy About Zeroes - Having three identical numbers in your password is highly crackable, but having three zeroes in your pin is likely the most common triplicate. Says who? Says me, who saw customers selecting passwords heavy on zeroes each and every day!

5885: The Sandwich/Mirror Image - If you think that no one in the world will every figure out that "5885" is your pin, or "1221," then I've proved you wrong today. Please change your password to something more secure.

1253: Address Mania - Who would ever guess that the owner of this password lives at 1253 Easy Street? Not the robber who has your stolen wallet in his hand with your full identification. Now please change your password. If your address appears in your pin at all, I would recommend the same.

9720: Your Phone Number - Using the last four digits of your phone number is very risky business, and will get your password cracked. More people know your phone number -- or have access to it -- then you realize. This includes strangers, of course.

6546: Your name, nickname, child's name, or pet's name in numbers - Using your name, nickname, child's name or pet's name converted into numbers is so predictable. Time to change your password!


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