In Windows 10, Microsoft provides several ways to log into user accounts in addition to the standard password, including facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, but these are not available on some machines.
However, anyone can use a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to protect their Windows 10 account. Doing so is a great idea.
Let’s take a look at the difference between a PIN and a password in Windows 10, as well as which option you should use through the following article.
PIN is unique to each device
The best security feature of a Windows 10 PIN is that it only applies to one device. It is only used on your computer and never shipped to Microsoft’s servers. Therefore, if you put a PIN on your home PC and someone steals it, that person won’t be able to access your account unless they have physical access to the device. Also, the PIN can’t sign in to the same Microsoft account as passwords.
Using a Microsoft password to sign in to your PC is actually risky. If you have to enter that password to log in every time, you will most likely choose a weak one. If someone steals this password, they can also sign in to their Outlook email, Xbox account, or any number of other Microsoft services you currently have.
Use a combination of a strong PIN and password
If you’ve used a password manager to password-secure your Microsoft account, it can be tricky to enter your password every time you sign in. Signing in with a PIN will solve this problem, just make sure you use a good pin.
The recommendation for most people is to set a strong password for your Microsoft account and combine it with a good PIN for logging into the computer. This keeps your Microsoft account protected, and lets you conveniently sign in to your PC (if you use additional two-factor authentication on your Microsoft account for even more security then great. ).
There are no downsides to setting up a PIN. Local account users can also set a PIN and apply the same rules. Since the local account applies only to your specific computer, a PIN is simply an alternative means of signing in. It doesn’t offer the benefits of hiding your Microsoft account password.
Note that you can use a PIN when connecting to a PC via Remote Desktop and enter the PIN to log in with Safe Mode. Make sure you still have a standard password handy for those situations.
Use a PIN to log into the app
As an added benefit, some Windows apps support the use of Windows Hello to approve access to sensitive information, including 1Password and Google Chrome.
For example, after logging into 1Password with your master password once, you can enter your PIN to unlock the app the next time. And Chrome now lets you enter a PIN to autofill saved credit card details on the form.
Entering a PIN is more convenient than entering long passwords every time, so these connections are worth setting up. Just be aware that the level of security they offer is only as strong as your PIN.
Now, you know how a PIN works in Windows 10. When you log into Windows, the system prompts you to enter a PIN instead of a password. To sign in with an alternate password, look for the Sign-in options link below the text input field.
Make tech easier than ever to set up a Windows 10 PIN, whether you use a Microsoft account or not. If you also want to secure your phone, see the pros and cons of using your fingerprint or a PIN to lock your smartphone.