Personal Security Questions On Sites Create A Serious Security Risk

April 2, 2008

Asking for your mother’s maiden name has made it to many websites but may pose a serious security risk.

Did you ever feel reluctant to giving out your personal information when you are signing up on a website? Many websites ask deep and personal questions so that they may better identify you and not an impostor. Sites have gone much farther than just asking for a password in many cases, they ask for either a choice of your mother's maiden name, your first pet’s name, name of your high school, and other personal questions. This has raised the red flag in the case that hackers obtain this information. Hackers can utilize this type of information to compromise your identity or log onto your personal accounts.

Many internet users freely give up this bit of information because it gives them a good sense of security in knowing that the website that is asking for the personal question answer has taken an extra step to identify you. The extra security questions do ultimately give an extra layer of security to a given website that requires the answers to the security questions. If someone has your login and password they will not be able to proceed with the login because they fail to have a correct answer to the additional security questions.

Many websites state that they go through certain security measures to protect this personal information in a secure database. What if a hacker was able to get their hands on this information, they can do a lot of damage on other sites that you may log into. Arming a hacker with this type of information can compromise your identity, credit and possibly other accounts that you may posses.

Educating yourself with this bit of information makes secure website users realize that hackers may know more about you than you think. Serious damage to your lifestyle can occur if this information ends up in the wrong hands.

One way you can protect your personal information is by providing a “made-up” answer that you can remember for secure sites that require additional personal information. The catch is, you must remember your answer or you will be susceptible to being locked out of your account or secure website.

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