What is a PIN?
A PIN often referred to as a PIN number is an acronym for ‘Personal Identifications Number’ is a security code attached to your bank card (debit card, credit card or prepaid card) for verifying your identity.
What are PINs Used For?
PINs are personal to the cardholder and for the safety and security of yourself and your finances, it should be kept secret and not given out to anyone. A PIN allows access to your account to make financial transactions and as such, you should be careful to prevent unauthorised access.
To be able to withdraw cash from an ATM or get cash when paying for goods with a retailer, for your safety and security as the account holder, you are always required to enter your PIN, even if you are using the contactless function on your card when paying for the goods. This is so that your identity can be verified. This being the case, it’s very important to remember your PIN, as your bank card will generally become blocked if you enter your PIN incorrectly three times.
Protect your Bank Card and PIN
As a PIN is your verification to access to your account, you must protect it from anyone else to ensure no one can gain access of your bank account if your bank card is stolen. There are many ways in which you can protect your PIN.
Don’t Leave Your Wallet/Purse or Bag Unattended
If you are in public, never leave your wallet/purse or bag unattended, it only takes a few seconds for someone to steal your personal possessions.
When you’re at home, be careful to not leave your wallet/purse or handbag in clear sight of others outside of your house. Opportunist thieves may try to enter your home and will do so if they can quickly and easily.
Never write your PIN on your Bank Card
If you write your PIN on the back of your bank card and you accidentally lose it or it is stolen, you have given thieves instant access to your account to take your money.
Don’t Keep a Written Copy of Your PIN in Your Wallet or Purse with Your Bank Card
Keeping your PIN in your wallet or purse is a security hazard. If your wallet/purse is stolen, not only have the thieves got your bank card, but you’ve also given them instant access to your account and money through your PIN.
Never tell Anyone your PIN
Don’t share your PIN with anyone, face-to-face, over an email, an SMS, WhatsApp, over the phone, via social media or any other means. Just like Suits Me, a bank will never ask you for your PIN number. If your bank calls you, they will verify you through other means and security questions.
Hide your PIN
Whenever you enter your PIN, whether that is at an ATM, in a store or restaurant, always remember to use one hand to enter your PIN and the other hand to cover the keypad so no-one can see what PIN numbers you’re entering. Even if you think someone may not be looking, thieves can install small cameras on ATMs to watch you enter your PIN. Always remember to check an ATM before using it and if anything looks suspicious, find another ATM to use.
Don’t use the Same PIN for Other Uses
PINs aren’t just for bank cards, they are used for many other devises and technology too. PINs are also used to protect mobile phones, tablets, computers, doors and more.
Top Tips on Creating a Secure PIN
Creating a PIN that is not only memorable but secure is very important. You don’t want someone to be able to guess your PIN, however, you also don’t want to forget your PIN either.
Don’t use a Generic Number
Using something like 0000 is very easy to guess and isn’t very secure.
Use a Random Memorable Date
A memorable date to you (other than your birthday) makes for a great PIN. You’ll be able to remember your PIN and as it’s personal to you, it’ll be secure and hard for anyone to guess.
To make this even more secure, add a 1 to each number. For example, if your memorable date was 1801, you could add 1 to each number to help to make it safer. 1901 would effectively then be 2912.
Remember a Four-Letter Word
This works great and very easy to remember. Choose a four-letter word, for example, FISH, use the keypad to spell the word, FISH would be 3474.
How to Change your PIN
With many banks, (both high street banks and online banks) including Suits Me, you’ll receive a randomly generated PIN when you receive your bank card in the post. If the number isn’t easy for you to remember and you’d like to change your PIN, simply visit your nearest ATM, insert your card, enter your current PIN and follow the steps on the screen to create a new PIN.