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PIN numbers. How secure are they?(2 posts)

PIN numbers. How secure are they?Kristin
Feb 3, 2003 8:08 AM
Of all my passwords, my PIN number is only the second least complex. Something I'm aware of every time I access my funds. (You know, that little pool of money that keeps the lights on, my car moving forward, the food in my pantry and me off the streets.) Does much theft occur by someone cracking PIN numbers? If not, why not? In the days when ATM's first became available, technology was limited and PIN numbers were more than adequate, but is that true today? Back when the ATM was that thing that made us all nervous, there was only one way to use your pin number. You had to have the card with you. But that's not true anymore. Today someone could access my funds from the web just by knowing the number and the PIN. With that in mind, do you think PIN's need to be more complex?
How complex can they be?mohair_chair
Feb 3, 2003 8:36 AM
Right now, the only way to make them more complex is to make them longer, and that doesn't really add much more security. Almost all POS devices are numeric keypads, so until you get more complex input devices (i.e., with letters and symbols), you'll never get more complex PINs. Plus, the biggest hole in the system is you. Make your PIN easy enough to guess, and someone will. Type it in in full view and someone might write it down.

The ideal system is to eliminate PINs altogether and use retinal scans or fingerprints. I'm not sure how you do that online, but as far as I know, my bank doesn't allow the kind of web access you are talking about.