Choose Good Security Questions And Better Answers

A few security-conscious web sites allows users to write their own security questions, and web developers are occasionally asked to provide a few questions for their sites. Lifehacker reader James provides some perspective on what really makes a question secure.

The problem with most stock security questions, as former VP-hopeful Sarah Palin learned, is that they can be found out by digging through public records, social profiles, and a little deep Google work. What makes a security question a good one? James offers some good insight:

A good security question will have the following characteristics: 1. Easy to remember, even 5 or 10 yrs from now 2. At least thousands of possible answers 3. Not a question you would answer on Facebook, Myspace, in a "Fun Questions to Ask" survey, or in a article or interview 4. Simple one or two word answer 5. Never changes

Hit the link for security question examples that meet this criteria. For more on security, check out our guide to how to choose and remember secure passwords.

How to pick a REALLY good security question [iamjames]


Comments

    Another tip is that you should have the answer always in small case. A question like "What primary school did you go to?" could have the answer "Saint Johns School for the Gifted". Having different case in your answer could cause problems. Keeping all small caps will avoid the problem if the site expects a case sensitive answer or not.

    I actually take a different approach and choose random questions and have a set of 3 different words that i alternate and have remembered. So eg if the question is "mothers maiden name" i just put in a specific word that has nothing to do with the question but i remember quite well.

    It might not work for everyone, but i know for a fact noone will be able to guess it.

    Have to agree with lola, if you have a question that is

    "what is your mothers maiden name"
    and you use the answer

    "I eat Bananas and Ham!"

    that you would remember and is hard to guess

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