Extra Password Security Tip, plus some extras

6 03 2012

Forgot to include this rule in my recent post on passwords:

DON’T USE REAL ANSWERS TO SECURITY QUESTIONS

I came up with this rule after watching a Psych episode in which a couple went to speed dating events to steal people’s identities.  They used the speed dates as covers to ask questions like:

Where were you born?  Where did you go to elementary school?  What was your mother’s maiden name?

Do these sound familiar?  They should, because you usually have to answer them when creating an account online.  The answers are easy to find out, especially with the advent of Facebook, Google+, personal blogs, etc.  To defend yourself simply answer security questions with fake answers.  It’s helpful to save these answers in your password program, but picking easy to remember answers is good too.

A couple of examples:

Who is your favorite teacher? – answer with your least favorite teacher.  or perhaps a teacher’s name from a TV show.  or something you associate with your favorite teacher.

What color was your first car? – moonglowmetallicgrey, dirtbrown

Some extra safety tips

Tossing these in because I randomly remembered them and felt they’re worth sharing.

  • I don’t use my real birthday on the web because it is necessary for most forms of identity theft.  Unfortunately Facebook thinks I’m a 60 year old single man and constantly advertises mature dating sites to me.
  • An extremely paranoid thing I do is scratch off the CVV2 code off the back of my credit/debit cards and memorize them.  This means if someone steals my CCs they won’t be able to order anything on most websites.  Or the guy working the counter can’t glance at my card and memorize them.

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