ATM Pin Pad

WhitePaper: PIN Versus Password on Windows 10

Over on Microsoft's extensive Windows IT Center you can find white papers/documentation on a vast number of subjects.

One that recently caught my eye was actually part of a larger package of information about using Windows Hello for Business.

Deeper in this paper is a discussion about why PINs are better than passwords. This comes up because when you start using Windows Hello you must establish a PIN as a secondary method of validating your identity in case your fingerprint or face is not recognized by Windows Hello.

I have been using Windows Hello since the early days and while it is reliable every once in a while you have a hiccup and can not log into a system using either method. That is where your PIN comes into play.

In this section of the white paper, entitled Why a PIN is better than a password, it provides the reasons behind this concept and includes:

-- PIN is tied to the device

-- PIN is local to the device

-- PIN is backed by hardware

-- PIN can be complex

It then goes on to answer questions such as:

-- What if someone steals the laptop or phone?

-- What if I forget my PIN?

-- Why a PIN is needed to use biometrics

The entire document is a good read, especially if you are not yet using Windows Hello or planning to implement its use in your organization. This will drive the discussion about its level of protection that can be offered to your physical devices running Windows 10.

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