A Question of Security

By now we’re all familiar with the concept of the security question. It’s commonly used in conjunction with a username and password to verify that you are who you say you are. It is one of the most frequently used mechanisms for recovering a lost password.

I have a small issue with the security question. Most of them do not apply to my life. When I need to select a question to provide an answer for, I’m often stuck with a set of questions that I have no definitive answer for.

What is your maternal grandmother’s maiden name?
In what city does your nearest sibling live?

I didn’t have a close-knit family. What if I have no siblings and nobody in my family talked to my grandmother?

What was your high school mascot?

Which one? I moved around a bunch. There are 6 different high schools I could choose from here.

What is the name of the first school you attended?
What was the name of your elementary/primary school?

See the previous question. I haven’t even counted the number of elementary schools I went to. My first school must have been about 20 schools ago.

What was your childhood phone number including area code?
What is the street number of the house you grew up in?

Do people even get to have one address or phone number anymore?

What was the color of your first car?

The first one I bought, the first one I registered, or the first one that I was the primary driver of? 3 different cars here.

How many bones have you broken?

Too many to count.

What is the title and artist of your favorite song?
What is the title and author of your favorite book?
What is the name, breed, and color of your favorite pet?
What is your favorite animal?
What was the last name of your favorite teacher?

I don’t have a very binary outlook on life. Except for my girlfriend, my “favorite” anything is subject to change from day-to-day. It’s almost guaranteed that any answer to one of these questions will change between the time I enter it on a form and when I need to remember it.

Where did you vacation last year?

To answer this I’d need to remember what year I joined your website.

What is the first name of the boy or girl that you first kissed?

I don’t kiss and tell. Not to your website anyway.

What time of the day were you born?

I didn’t have my watch on.

I think I’m just going to start answering all security questions with “Fred.” Well, maybe not the one about the first kiss…

1 Comment Posted in thoughts

One Comment

  1. I hate those to for opposite reasons. For me anyone who knows me well could almost guess and answer those questions for me and steal my accounts from me. I have to be really careful which ones I choose so that they aren’t obvious yet I can remember them.