Friday, August 31, 2012
Never list your mother’s maiden name as a security question when you open an account online
Although it seems obvious that no one should ever do that—it’s still being done every day because it’s “so easy to remember.” It also makes it possible for a hacker to get into your account, as was the case with the Sarah Palin e-mail hack by David Kernell, back in 2008. At the very least, choose a totally different name for your mother’s maiden name.
Personally, I prefer to give different answers to security questions for each account. This applies to ALL security questions, not just “What was your mother’s maiden name?" Use different answers for questions such as these: Where were you born? Where was your father born? What was the name of your first pet? Where did you first go to high school?
As for the password itself, never, ever use a real word, even if it’s in a foreign language. For detailed instructions on how to choose a secure password, see chapter 17 of How to be Invisible.