New research shows that Brits are still prepared to put their online security at risk by choosing passwords that are not only easy for them to remember but are also easy for any potential criminal to guess.
Analytics firm Data Genetics has found that the most common online PIN number is “1234”, a pin that almost one in nine of us choose as a PIN for our bank cards that can be used at cashpoints or at retailers.
This means that in most cases a criminal would be able to make a simple guess to access bank accounts and cash from ATM’s on one in ten occasions.
The rarest code was “8068”, with just 0.000744 per cent of people choosing this number as their PIN. It was used just 25 times out of the 3.4 million codes checked.
Data Genetics analysed a database containing 3.4 million four-digit passwords. The data was put together from lists of PINs which have been leaked to hackers over the past few years.
These codes are for computer passwords not ATM PIN numbers but the study says that it is reasonable to expect that many users would use the same password for both areas.
Other popular passwords also show the predictable and lazy choices many of us make. They include “1111” and “0000”. The research shows that these three passwords make up 20 per cent of all pass codes.
Other popular choices include using a code that is the same as an individual’s date of birth. This is illustrated by the fact that every single year in the 20th century, starting with 19, is in the top 20 per cent of PINS chosen.
Other selections are linked to our knowledge of pop culture with the James Bond influenced “0007” proving popular, along with the title of one of George Orwell’s books “1984”.
The research found that most of the least popular numbers are ones with little significance.
In total, Data Genetics found that half of all pin numbers are selected from just 426 possibilities out of a possible 10,000.