Trying to find out someone's bank PIN goes against Rule 3 - Password Scamming (see Rules of RuneScape). It is also good to note that an unsuccessful attempt in gaining one's bank PIN is also against the rules and that one can get reported for doing such act.
|“||Asking for someone's bank PIN is just as serious as asking for an account password... Under no circumstances should you tell another player your password, PIN number or any other personal details of your account.||”|
— Rule 3 - Password Scamming Rules of RuneScape
Obtaining a bank PIN
To get a bank PIN, players may talk to a banker and say that they would like to check their PIN settings. Once they have done this, they may then set a 4-digit PIN. The Bank PIN may be cancelled before it is put to use.
Their bank will then have a bank PIN in either 3 or 7 days, at the player's discretion. The reason for a 3 (or 7) day delay is that if a person hacks the player's account before the PIN is set, the player can cancel the PIN the next time he/she logs back on.
Removing a bank PIN
To remove a bank pin, simply talk to the Banker, click "I'd like to check my PIN settings", and then press "Delete Pin".
Using a bank PIN
When a player has a bank PIN, they must then click on the 4 numbers they set it to. Once they have done this, they will have access to their bank account. The bank stays unlocked until the player logs out or loses their connection. The numbers on the keypad shift around after being clicked on, and the numbers move around within their red boxes. This is to prevent spyware that tracks mouse movements from compromising the PIN.
After two failed attempts to enter the bank PIN, the system locks the player out for 10 seconds and tells him or her to use the "cancel" option if he or she has made a mistake in entering their PIN. After another failed attempt the system locks the player out for 15 seconds. Once four fail attempts are made, the player must wait 10 minutes before trying again.
As of 9 March 2017, players can now choose whether bank PINs should stay unlocked for 5 minutes after logging out by speaking to a banker and opening the PIN settings menu. This would allow players to hop worlds or take a quick bathroom break without having to re-enter the bank PIN when logging back in. However, if players appear to be logging in from a different IP address or computer, the bank PIN will always re-lock itself immediately.
Bank PINs are a form of damage control against account thieves. Accounts can be stolen if an attacker obtains the login name and the associated password. If a computer is infected with a key-logger, it is possible for a thief to learn the login name and password combinations. Even without such malware infections, weak passwords might be guessed.
If an account thief is armed with only a username and the password, they will not be able to access the items stored away in the account's bank. Additionally, a keylogger cannot easily obtain the PIN, because players have to click on the numbers instead of typing them.
Bank PINs are the best things players can have to protect their bank account and it is strongly recommended to have one. In addition, players are well advised to only access their account from a trusted and non-infected computer. A non-obvious password and periodic password changes also help to prevent unauthorized access to accounts.
The Bank PIN system also appears when attempting to enter the Player-owned house in Building mode for the first time after logging into the game. This helps protect the Player-owned house from vandalism and/or theft from the Costume Room.
Bank PINs cannot protect against more advanced hacking software. Programs that take a screen shot every time the user clicks the mouse will obtain a screen where only the PIN key is made blank. The surrounding keys still show their number, so the PIN key can be deduced from the captured screen. Hence, bank PINs cannot always prevent hacking, although they provide a decent additional layer of security.
Choosing a PIN
Some of these things are told in the Stronghold of Security, while others are just helpful to know. Here are some PINs that players should avoid using:
- Their own birthday - many players use this, but it is not advised, as those who know the player may know their birthday.
- A real life PIN - Jagex cannot absolutely guarantee the security of their database, and if it were compromised then players could be at risk of losing real-life money.
- The last 4 digits of a Social Security Number (SSN) - If anyone finds the PIN to be a SSN, the player may be in trouble in real life. The last four digits in a National Insurance number (NINO) should not be used either, of the same reason.
- The last four digits of a telephone number - someone might know this information.
- Pins such as 4,4,4,4 (4 same digits), 3,4,5,6 (4 digits in sequence) and 8,7,6,5 (in reverse sequence) cannot be used.
Good PIN choices
- A random number - be sure to memorise this well
- A friend, idol or relative's birthday
- Spell a word using the telephone keys
- Player may also use a calculator (e.g. the calculator in Windows) to add random numbers together
Situations requiring a PIN
- Accessing the bank
- Trading at the Grand Exchange
- Entering Building mode in a Player-owned house
- Opening/searching stored items in a Player-owned house Costume Room or Menagerie
- Accessing the Party Room chest
- Accessing a player's Miscellania funds
- Accessing the reward points interface
- Accessing a STASH unit
- Using the Nightmare Zone coffer
- Redeeming an Old school bond