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Guide: PIN vs Password Login in Windows 10: What’s best for you?
We contribute almost our entire digital life laptops, and when security is compromised, everyone has access to our professional and personal lives. Passwords are there to protect us, but they are also very cumbersome to remember and type. That’s why Microsoft introduced the PIN with the launch of Microsoft Hello in Windows 10.
It may sound like something else to remember to some, but this is different from your usual password. Let’s take a look at what PIN is, how it differs from a password, and why you should use one.
A password is a simple alphanumeric string that you use to unlock your Windows 10 laptopIf you want to use a complex password, you can add special characters (@ # $%) to the mix. It is highly recommended that your password contains at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, and one special character. More is always better.
The longer and more complex your password, the better it is. While this makes our passwords more secure, it makes them harder to remember and makes typing every time the computer wakes up. up or is starting up. People often make the mistake of choosing an easy-to-remember password over complex ones and then wonder how they ever got hacked.
PIN is part of the Windows Hello product that allows users to use different ways to log in to their computer. Other methods include facial recognition, fingerprint, iris scan and FIDO keys. The PIN is a four-digit numeric password that is easy to remember and enter, especially on touchscreens.
It can be longer than four digits, but not shorter. In addition, some corporate editions allow users to create a complex PIN by allowing the use of alphabets and special characters.
This does not mean that you will no longer create and use a password. Passwords persist because they add an extra layer of security. You cannot create a PIN without first creating a password.
The job of a PIN is to simplify the login process so you don’t waste time remembering or entering passwords. It’s a convenience, but again, at what cost?back to menu ↑
You can use a local account to use your Windows 10 computer or a Microsoft account. Microsoft account is the account associated with your Microsoft apps such as Office 365, Skype, Xbox, and so on. You also use the same password on your PC. If you don’t want to associate the PC with a Microsoft account, you can create a local account instead. The local account has all your information on the device.
Why is that important? If your laptop stolen or lost, you can use Find My Device to locate it or even format it remotely. You can also go back up apps and settings to the cloud so that you can change them more easily laptops in the future. That’s why I recommend using a Microsoft account.
Microsoft account is the account associated with your Microsoft apps such as Office 365, Skype, Xbox, and so on
While passwords are stored in the cloud, a PIN is local, meaning it will never leave your computer. It cannot be used on any other Microsoft service. Microsoft explains that the PIN is associated with the device and not the account. That makes PIN unusable for hackers. They will also have to steal your computer to use that PIN.
Microsoft encourages users to use a PIN because it is “backed by a TPM chip, a secure crypto processor.” Not all laptop has that chip in it, so you can also use BitLocker, a built-in encryption program.
Microsoft notes on its Windows Hello privacy page that the personally identifiable user data is not collected and that any small information that is collected is encrypted first. I think that’s as good as anything.
Even if your PC is stolen, Windows will only allow four guesses for the PIN, after which a reboot is required. Guessing the wrong PIN repeatedly will result in a lockdown. That’s why I recommend using a cloud Microsoft account. So you can manage it remotely in case you forget the PIN or someone tries to hack it.back to menu ↑
4. Set Up
We know that using a Microsoft account is better than a local account and that using a PIN is safe because it is local and tied to the device. So how do we use a PIN with password (works with both a local and cloud account)?
Press the Windows keys + I shortcut to launch Settings and select Accounts.
Click Login Option on the left sidebar and select Windows Hello PIN and click Add.
Click Next in the popupup
For security reasons, you will be prompted to enter your local or cloud Microsoft account password.
That’s where you create your PIN. By default it is set numerically only, but you can also include letters and symbols if you wish.
Back to the settings screen, you will now see some new options. Here you can change or delete your PIN. There is also an option to recover the PIN if you forget it.
But again, the purpose of creating a PIN is not to forget it, which makes logging in easier and faster.back to menu ↑
Password and PIN are two sides of the same coin. Both are optional, but both are necessary and complement each other. One secures your account from hackers and the other helps you log in quickly without compromising security. Note that you cannot set a PIN without first setting a password. PIN only acts as a second validation layer.
The next up Are you experiencing slowdowns on your Windows 10 computer? Are you witnessing the 100% disk usage error in Task Manager? Click on the link below to learn how to fix this error and increase the speed of your pc.back to menu ↑
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