Storing PIN Numbers and Security Passcodes So They Can’t be Easily Identified

ATM keypad

I read an interesting post recently on 10 Snapshots You Should Keep in Your Phone’s Photo Album but it was one of the comments and follow-up answers that really caught my eye. How do you securely store PIN numbers if you have to so they can’t be easily identified? Personally for the cards I use regularly I’ve memorized the PIN code, but some cards I only use occasionally and need to store the PIN in a secure form so only I can identify it. What I hit on was disguising the PIN as a date or birthday and storing that in my address book or as note on my phone. For example, a 4 digit PIN of 6238 would convert to 6th February 1938 in my notes, but I always felt this was a little too easily guessable.

Lynn posted this response on the above blog post:

I give all my cards-with-pincodes ‘names’ and include the pincode in the phone numbers attributed to those names in my contact list. Only I know what I call them, but, just in case, only I know which four digits of the 10 in the # are the pincode ones.

That sounded perfect for me. In the UK, we typically have 5-digit STD codes and 6-digit phone numbers, so my example PIN could be saved as a fake name/phone number like: Sid 01234-623810. You can see where I’ve put the PIN. Obviously, as Lynn says you have to remember which ‘name’ goes with which card. This method seems to me to be pretty secure, particularly as the PIN reminder is stored on your phone, completely separately from your wallet or purse with your cards.

How do you store PIN numbers when you have to? Drop a comment below.

Image credit: ATM keypad 1/4

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