Archive for March, 2013

Nationwide Automated Systems on How to Choose a PIN

As an increasing number of financial transactions are completed electronically, security has never been more important. Selecting a strong personal identification number (PIN) is one of the most useful tools in protecting identity as well as personal finances.

The key to choosing a PIN is finding a number easy for you to recall but difficult for a stranger to guess. The number should not use meaningful dates such as birthdays or anniversaries, nor should it include any digits from a Social Security number. Repeated or consecutive numbers such as 1234 are also easy for thieves or hackers to guess. One method for choosing a PIN involves choosing a significant word and converting it to numerical digits, or storing the number in a fictitious contact in a cell phone.

Experts recommend choosing a PIN that is longer than four digits whenever possible, as well as changing PINs periodically. Also, different PINs should be used for different accounts, so if one is compromised, the other accounts remain safe.

About Nationwide Automated Systems:

Established in 2005, the company operates ATMs in casinos, movie theatres, convenience stores, and hotels in every major city in the United States.

How to Increase Your ATM Password IQ, by Nationwide Automated Systems Staff Writer

Question: How many four-digit combinations can be created using the standard 0-9 digits available for most ATM cards?

Answer: 10,000. 

Given this fact, many people might assume that the distribution of PINs would fall out fairly evenly, reducing the chances of a skimmer discovering the PIN to a random card. 

Nevertheless, nearly 30 percent of cardholders choose the most easily guessed PINs available, according to DataGenetics, a research group. Potential skimmers can crack this group of numbers by employing just 20 combinations. The most popular password remains 1234, capturing nearly 11 percent of PINs in use.

So if this is your PIN, experts recommend changing it as soon as possible. 

Next, avoid patterns. Straight or diagonal lines allow skimmers to play a kind of “bingo” game to find a password. ATM cardholders should also avoid repeating numbers.

Researchers also recommended avoiding even numbers. For example, users preferred the numbers 2468 much more than 1357. The exception to this rule is when the odd numbers appear to indicate a year. Thus, PINs starting with 19 may be easier to hack. In fact, PIN numbers beginning with 19 occur in the top-20 percent of options, DataGenetics found.

About Nationwide Automated Systems: With ATMs located in every major metropolitan area in the United States, Nationwide Automated Systems is the preferred vendor of ATM services for Hilton Hotels Corporation.