how secure are string values?

Yes, 1874 would be stored in memory and in the executable.

You could use a cryptography library to salt and hash the correct pin and store the salt and hashed value. In the past I have used crypto++. This would be almost impossible to try and figure out the original value by working with the hashed value, they would have to brute force it. Although the rest of your executable is not secure so they could just hack out the comparison of the response and the correct pin.

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