Predictability of Your PIN Code

Taking advantage of holiday sales might mean more trips to the bank and frequent use of your debit card. Unfortunately, the more you use your bank card the higher your risk of vulnerability to fraud and identity theft. Have you ever wondered how easy it might be for someone to crack your PIN code? Database analysts at DataGenetics broke down the trends in passwords from previously released tables and security breaches.

The most common four digit password was”1234″ which accounted for 10.7% of all passwords analyzed. Not surprisingly, the second and third most common passwords were “1111” and “0000”. Think those are too easy to guess? If you use numbers like your birth date, zip code, or street number, your code can easily be guessed if your wallet is lost or stolen along with your debit card and ID. It would be safer to use a relative’s birth date or a number unrelated to your personal information.

The 20 most commonly used password codes are fairly predictable.

The most uncommon codes from the data set were “8068” and “8093”. But we suggest a safer strategy for keeping your money protected- keep your debit card secured at home when it’s not needed and use credit cards during busy shopping seasons instead.This way any fraud using your identity can be disputed, leaving your hard earned cash safe and untouched. Fraud of any kind is a hassle and can be a danger to your finances, but it is much easier to dispute a charge on credit than decreased cash in your account when bills need to be paid. So enjoy the after-Christmas sales, and remember to practice safer shopping!

Facebook Security

As the use of social media sites grow, so do the security concerns that go with it. Many of us of have a Facebook or Linked in account, but how secure are we? People tend to share information on social sites that they would not normally share with friends or acquaintances. Most of these sites are adding new features daily and some of the features give applications and search engines direct access to personal information.

The biggest mistake I see people make is entering their date of birth, including the year. This provides someone who is potentially looking to do identity theft a lot of useful information. Many people list their high school or mention pet names, both of which are common security questions for accounts.

Facebook has many security options that allow members to select who can have access to what kind of information or pictures. I would suggest that you visit this section under ‘Account Settings’ and customize it to your preference.

Below are some basic tip’s to help you stay safe and secure on the web.

  1. Remove your date or birth from your profiles.
  2. Use different passwords for your various online accounts.
  3. Don’t click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails.
  4. Make sure you have an up-to-date web browser equipped with an anti-phishing blacklist. Some examples are Internet Explorer 8.0 and Firefox 3.0.10.
  5. Make sure you’ve listed a security question and answer for your online accounts. This will come in handy if your account is compromised and need to prove who you are. You can do this on Facebook in the ‘Account Settings’ page.
  6. Remember that you choose what you share and with whom you share it.