Increasingly more and more web sites, especially financial sites such as banks, credit card companies, or anything that involves personal information, now require a combination of user name, password and answers to security questions.
And that's the way it should be, if you want to prevent someone from gaining access to your accounts and seeing personal information.
But with that "prevention" comes the problem we all face with multi-login access to web sites.
Remembering all that information, just to log on.
So to counter remembering that information, we tend to make things easy and create…easy to remember passwords and answers to security questions.
But were also making it simple for thieves to easily hack into our accounts.
And when that happens, there is no one to blame but yourself.
What Can I Do To Make Password And Security Questions Harder To Guess?
It's simple. Make it harder for the thieves to hack into accounts, while making it easy for you to remember.
We already showed you how to create strong passwords and remember them. This method uses a mix of symbols, numbers, and upper and lower case characters, to create longer, stronger passwords that are easy to remember (only for you).
Now what about all those pesky security question answers?
Well, taking the concept for creating strong passwords one step further, you can use phrases to create answers that have nothing to do with the question.
For example, what answer do you use for the typical questions: "what city were you born in" and "what is your mother's maiden name"?
Yep, you guess it, you're going to use the real answers.
Not only is this a mistake, but it"s information anyone can easily search and find on the Internet.
By using something completely irrelevant, such as "window" for city and "latch" for mother's maiden name, makes guessing a lot harder, And using something that makes sense to you, while being irrelevant, will make it easier to remember.
Not only that, you used the phrase "window latch"
For sites that require up to three or four questions, you can use song lyrics, or lines from a movie.
Answer to question #1 – "dude"
Answer to question #2 – "looks like"
Answer to question #3 – "a lady"
Or how about this famous line from Clint Eastwood's movie Dirty Harry:
Answer to question #1 – "go ahead"
Answer to question #2 – "make"
Answer to question #3 – "my"
Answer to question #4 – "day"
Now, to keep anyone from guessing well known quotes or lyrics, you can use more words (double up) in a phrase than the number of questions.
This way you can have more than "one-word-answer" for a question (as in "go ahead" for question #1), which makes well known quotes harder to guess since only you will know which question has multiple words.
But I Don't Want To Use Quotes Or Lyrics?
How about a math addition:
Answer to question #1 – "30"
Answer to question #2 – "+"
Answer to question #3 – "10"
Answer to question #4 – "=40"
Or subtraction such as: 100-25=75.
You can still "double up" for an answer (-25) that only you will know which question it matches. More importantly, it makes hacking a lot tougher. You could also use any number (such as your favorite number) to solve the equation and keep someone from correctly guessing the equation.
What about sites that only require one security question answer?
Easy. See if you can figure out this answer:
Answer to question # 1 – "OU812!"
Which means: "Oh You Ate One Too!"
As you can see, answering those pesky security questions, takes a little creativity to easily answer the questions that you will remember. At the same time, you are providing more security which will ultimately secure your accounts.
So the next time your faced with providing answers to those pesky security questions, don't become frustrated….just do it! 😉
Don't Stop There
Creating strong password and hard to guess answers is just one piece to protecting your identity. Learn more about how identity theft happens and how you can prevent your self from becoming a victim by reading Identity Theft Deterrent on sale at this link.