The recent iCloud security breach where nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton and others have been posted online remind us that we all need to be conscious of security when online. We don’t know for sure yet what caused the breach but obtaining answers to "The Security Question" is a possibility.
Not long ago I recently wrote of how using 2-Factor Authentication can greatly increase the security of online accounts that you have. You also need to think of how you answer “The Security Question”. When setting up some online accounts or even accounts that are not online such as a bank account you likely have seen security questions such as, “What was your mother’s maiden name” or “What was the color of your first car?”
While these questions are designed to ascertain that it is truly you who are trying to get into an account, it can have unintended consequences. Consider the case of Sarah Palin when she was a Vice-Presidential candidate. During the campaign her personal email account got hacked. The security question that a hacker answered was about her mother’s maiden name. Apparently the hacker was able to get the answer to this by doing an online search. About 50% of all identity theft is by a family member, friend or neighbor. Who Is Stealing Your Identity? That said, not correctly answering these security questions will help to increase the security of your online accounts. Here is another aspect to this. With sites like Facebook and Classmates, your mother’s maiden name may very well be out there making it easier for someone to find this answer online. If you happen to be a celebrity, a Google search may very well reveal the answer to this and other questions that could be the security question you answer. But even if you are not a celebrity, the answers may be on the internet. This is just an example of why you need to be careful of how you answer "The Security Question" or questions. When answering these security questions you should have a substitute answer that you will remember (or better yet, make a list of the answers you have for security questions and keep it in a safe place but not so safe that you forget where you put it). As an example, for your mother’s maiden name you could use your mother-in-law’s maiden name, a neighbor’s last name, etc. Just make sure you know how you answer this should you ever need to use it. For some sites the answer for these questions may be case sensitive so you want to be aware of that when typing your answer.
Nothing is 100% safe, but you can take precautions so your accounts are not the low hanging fruit so to speak.
If you want to know more about more about protecting yourself online or other computer issues, I can be contacted at (917) 572-3468 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
My Facebook page provides information on the current goings on in the technology field. There are tips to better use your technology. For timely information, please visit and "Like" my page.
Remember you can sign up to receive these and other computer tips for free direct to your email by completing the form below: