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PIN is the abbreviation of Personal Identification Number. PIN is a secure numerical code created by the user and used for authentication when the user tries to access a system.

For various types of systems and networks such as computer networks, mobile phones, etc PIN is used as a validation tool. The most common usage of PINs is in ATM, internet transactions, computer access or log in to a website, etc.

Characteristics of PIN :

  • When a user tries to get access to a system using a PIN, then the PIN provided by the user is verified by comparing it with the PIN that is stored in the system database for that particular user. After successfully verifying the PIN, the user is granted access to that particular system. But a PIN does not personally identify the user.
  • Typically PINs are short strings of digits. Usually, they range from four to twelve digits. But this scheme is not that secure, so additional constraint or measures are taken for proper security like if more than a pre-specified number of incorrect PINs are attempted by an adversary(or the user himself), then the physical device should be invalidated.

Advantages of PIN :

  • PIN provides security to users of a system.
  • In case of unauthorized access due to lost card, username or password PIN provides secure privacy management.
  • PIN provides access to multiple types of network systems and websites.

There is no disadvantage of using a PIN as PIN provides security. But the use of a strong PIN is highly advisable as commonly used or easily crackable PINs may lead to serious problems.

Last Updated : 14 Apr, 2020
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