8 out of 10 people use bank PINs to lock phone screen

8 out of 10 people use bank PINs to lock phone screen

SINGAPORE - More than 8 out of 10 people in Singapore replicate their bank PIN (Personal Identification Number) to unlock their phone screen, making themselves easy targets of thieves and scammers. 

In a poll of over 500 credit and bank card holders in Singapore by financial services website, EnjoyCompare.com, 85 per cent admitted that they use the same numbers for their bank PIN  (Personal Identification Number) and phone unlock screen.

The survey also said that many people's choice of PIN was "terrifyingly lax", with easy-to-remember number combinations being worryingly popular.

Mr Mark Hall, an author with the website, said: "All it takes is an observant criminal to watch you unlocking your mobile device, and there's every chance he's got your bank number."

He added: "Then it's a case of a well-timed pickpocketing or purse snatch, and you're in real trouble."

73 per cent of poll respondents said that if they had more than one bank card, they would change the PINs so they were all the same. 34 per cent said that they used easy-to-remember number combinations like "0000" and "1234" for their security numbers

The lack of imagination that goes into thinking up personal pass codes, with a sizeable number of those surveyed picking from the same common combinations is worrying.

Besides these two commonly used, but insecure pass codes - 1234, 1111, other 'danger' numbers include 0000, 1212 and 1397

Earlier research by a US-based data security analyst found that the most common numbers for phone lock screens are 0000, 1234, 1111, and 2580 (the four numbers in sequence from top to bottom on a keypad), with 15 per cent of people using the same ten number combinations.

"People think they're being cute when they use 1397," says Hall, "but it's just the four corners of a standard keypad in sequence. That's not too hard for a fraudster to guess."

One way to be wise with your money is to take a few minutes to reset your pass codes.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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