Many security systems require you to set up a four-digit pin number as your access code. Some systems will generate a pin for you, but most will ask you to pick a number of your own. Picking a good pin number can be more difficult than you might think. On one hand, you want to pick something that you and your family or coworkers can easily remember. But on the other, if it’s a simple or obvious number to you, then it will be easier for someone else to guess. Here are a few types of numbers that you should never use for your pin.
Any set of four repeating numbers is an easy go-to when someone is trying to guess your code. A list of numbers in order is no better. “1111” and “1234” (or other number sequences of the sort) are some of the most common pins out there. If you use one of these, it’s not much different than having no pin at all. You should use four unique numbers, and never use them in counting order.
While these dates might not be the most immediate public knowledge, they’re obvious to anyone who knows you on some level. Many, many people rely on important dates as their pins. If your birthday or anniversary is listed anywhere publicly (like on a social media profile), it’s all too easy for someone to figure out. Reversing the numbers is slightly better, but only slightly– it’s better to pick a string of numbers that doesn’t have any significance to you, even if it’s harder to remember at first.
If you live or work at 2100 Main Street, don’t use 2100 for your access code. Even if you’re setting up a system for your business and you don’t think anyone will know if you use your home address, it’s best to steer clear. Disgruntled employees or other people close to you may have more information than you think.
In the end, the best security code is one that is completely random. This makes it much less likely that someone will guess it. All of these tips should help you to pick a secure set of numbers for your pin. Remember that, for maximum security, you should change your pin regularly (once every four months is a good rule), and always use a new, unique code every time.