Insurance Blog
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 15:38

Change Your Security Question Answers Now

The Password Security Answers You Should Not Use

Protect Your Identity and Account Logins

In 2008, a 20-year-old college student hacked the Yahoo! email account for then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin because he was able to figure out the answers to her password security questions by using Google searches to find her ZIP code, birthdate, and where she met her husband. Today, with so much of our personal information available on social media, strong passwords are no longer enough to divert hackers because many common security questions are not as secure as they once were. 

Hackers Can Easily Learn About Your Online

In addition to using search engines to research information about you, hackers can easily find answers to some of the most common security questions by analyzing your social media profiles. Standard security questions no longer truly help to keep your account safe when the answers can be easily found online.

Here is a list of the information hackers can find out about you from your social media accounts:

  • Your mother's maiden name
  • Your father's middle name
  • The name of your first pet
  • Your first car
  • The first elementary school you attended
  • The name of the town where you were born

Therefore, you should not use the actual answers to these typical security questions. 

It would be easier if organizations would ask questions that are not so easy to figure out, but the challenge is to avoid asking security questions that are too difficult for us to remember. "The problem with all security questions, no matter how difficult they are, is they are intended to be simpler to use than passwords because the question itself is supposed to trigger your memory," said The Journal of Accountancy.

To protect your accounts, consider choosing alternative answers to security questions that cannot be easily researched or guessed. For example, instead of providing your mother's ­actual maiden name, create an answer that resembles her name but is memorable. This approach may defeat the purpose of simpler security questions, but it will most likely would result in greater security.

As you attempt to become more creative with answers to security questions, consider using a password manager. Here's a list of Tech Radar's top five password management tools (read their review):

  1. LastPass
  2. Dashlane
  3. RoboForm
  4. KeePass Password Safe
  5. Sticky Password

It's time to reconsider the answers you provide for your online accounts. Be proactive. Create substitute your actual answers with creative ones that you can remember (or save in a password manager), and discourage hackers from stealing your information.

Read 2297 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 02:19

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