Management Assistance Program

Untruthful Answers to Your Data Security Questions May Be the Best (May 14, 2020)

Of course, lawyers are supposed to always tell the truth! But we got you to click and read this important security tip, didn’t we?

Your mother’s maiden name can likely be located with a little online research. Therefore, using your mother’s maiden name as your password recovery security question is dumb! That used to be the most popular security question, but some sites have now removed it as an option for just that reason.

Why would you answer any security question truthfully? After all you might have posted an essay online about your favorite pet or posted to social media about your first car, your favorite recording artist or the first concert you attended. Or one of your friends who went to the concert with you may have mentioned your name when writing about that night. Former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin had her email account hacked soon after she was selected. No hacker skills were required as her security question was “Where did you meet your true love?”, and her campaign was sharing they met in high school.

According to a character on the Cosby Kids cartoon series, the best reason to tell the truth is so you can remember what you said. That points out that crafting fake answers to questions does have a risk. You want to carefully save them. If you are using a password manager, that is the place to store the information. But if you aren’t using one (and you should be) find a couple of secure locations, included a password protected document on your computer. This is for once something you can write on paper and save as long as you headline the list with something Crossword Puzzle Answers instead of Fake Answers to Security Questions.

Hopefully many readers have previously done this. I blogged about this in 2014, with my post My Mother’s Maiden Name was XK37B_PWRD!