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(also password, PIN)

Passcode definition

A passcode, also known as a password or personal identification number (PIN), is a secret code used to authenticate or gain access to a network, system, or service. The purpose of a passcode is to provide a layer of security by ensuring only authorized users have access. The strength of a passcode typically depends on its complexity and length.

See also: password vault

Passcode examples

  • Logging into a computer: A passcode is required to access a personal computer or laptop.
  • Online banking: Banks use passcodes to ensure only the account owner can access the account.
  • Authenticating a VPN: NordVPN and other VPN services require a passcode to access its network.

Advantages and disadvantages of passcodes


  • Security: Passcodes provide a basic layer of security, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access.
  • Universality: Almost all digital systems use passcodes as a means of authentication.


  • Forgetting: Users may forget their passcodes, preventing them from accessing their accounts or devices.
  • Brute force attacks: Weak or predictable passcodes may be susceptible to brute force attacks.

Using passcodes

  • Make sure your passcode is complex and unique. Avoid using common passcodes like '123456' or 'password'.
  • Use a password manager to securely store and manage your passcodes.