PINs/Passcodes


Tacking on to my thoughts about the iPhone access issue…

We’ve all seen stories that come out periodically about how people use very weak passwords to protect their computer and online services.  You know the list.

  • cat
  • dog
  • 123456
  • qwerty
  • password

Of course you don’t use any of these or those from this list of commonly used passwords, right?

There really is no excuse for a weak password.  You have the whole keyboard with letters, numbers, special case characters, upper/lower case, at your fingertips.  Any browser that I know will kindly offer to save them for you and there are all kinds of password managers available.  Many are free to use with upgrade options or some are pay services to begin with.  There was a time that the argument against using this technology surrounded sharing of computers but that’s largely a thing of the past.  Most people carry their laptop computer with them anywhere they’ll need computing power.  And besides, you being the sophisticated user you are, have a password in use for access to your browser and then for your password manager.

Then, there’s your phone.

That’s a different animal.

You don’t have the full keyboard at your disposal.

If you’ve used Windows 10, you’ve probably seen the message from Microsoft that a PIN/Passcode is more secure than a password.  An interesting discussion is available here.

Certainly with your phone or tablet, without a password, it’s a whole different ballgame.  Not only do you have just numbers to protect yourself from prying eyes, many of us will use our phone only with one hand.  It’s just that convenient.  Plus, you might have the dog leash in the other hand.

And yet, you want your data to be just as secure.  So, if there are weak passwords, are there weak PINs/Passcodes?

I would guess that commonly used weak PINs/Passcodes might include:

  • 1111
  • 7777
  • 3333
  • 9999
  • 1234

There hasn’t been as much research on this topic although the recent events just might inspire some.  However, this older article “Most Common iPhone Passcodes” from Daniel Amitay gives his take and an interesting read.  Check out also “The 20 Most Common PINs Are Painfully Obvious“.

There’s a great deal to think about there.  How much thought do you or your students put into the choice of protection for your devices?

OTR Links 02/24/2016


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.