Updated: Oct 5, 2020
After setting up security questions to sign up, regretfully many times we forget our passwords, then find ourselves having to enter place of birth, pet names, etc., which ultimately leads to obtaining access to your account.
Passwords and security questions offers a sense of security for users, however, they too can be compromised typically by being hacked. Hackers generally use two methods of obtaining answers to your security questions: breaches or by guessing. Breaches occur when a user’s information is intercepted or diverted to a compromised account, hence, phone numbers, SMS, bio-metric data, security question/answers are made accessible. On the other hand, persons who use easy to remember answers to their security questions run the risk of having their answers guessed. Hackers can crowd sourse information and use other database tools, which can compromise your information. For instance, if you’re from The Bahamas, a hacker could be successful in getting your birthplace or name of a favorite food with several guesses.
Hackers are often times successful in obtaining security answers/password as a result of persons having easily identifiable information via social media platform(s) i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, etc. Answers to security questions such as: hometown, favorite vacation spot, pet name can be easily guessed from a quick stroll through your profile.
So, how can you make your information much safer? The key is to never duplicate an answer to a security question across multiple accounts. Also, the use of a password manager can assist in securing passwords and other account information. If giving the option to create your own security question, take full advantage of it. Finally, using a mix of letters, numbers and characters to create random answers.