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They're lousy security, too; the pre-selected "secret questions" tend to be things (e.g. high school mascot, mother's maiden name) which can be discovered relatively easily through internet research. Anyone who doesn't know my pet's name (or yours, for that matter) should have their internet license revoked.

The much more secure method is the one you came up with: have the customer write their own security question.


The military does something similar for Isolated Personnel forms - you write four "mini-stories" each containing four facts which then become classified information to prevent their dissemination. In the event you become isolated, you can identify rescuing personnel as actually being from the US because they'll be able to tell you something from your stories, and they can identify you the same way.

So you actually could have "I got my first tattoo in June 2005 at John's Tattoo and liquor store; it reads 'Darlene Forever.'


Could be worse I suppose. They could ask how old you were when you were arrested for the first time, or what your probation officer's middle name is.


Not particularly nice is when the security question asks about someone who has died, so every time it comes up it's a bittersweet reminder.


Not particularly nice is when the security question asks about someone who has died, so every time it comes up it's a bittersweet reminder.


I suppose it would be worse to ask "In what month was your favorite child born?"

Scheherazade H.

Because I've just come back from a domestic violence trial, how about:
1. When was the first time you kicked your sister in the head?
2. When was the first time that you were in prison and found out your girlfriend was pregnant?
3. When was the first time you rang your girlfriend from prison and threatened to bury her alive if she gave evidence against you?

Note to self: must be less cynical.


I like it when it lets you make up your own question. My bank does that for email money transfers, and my sister glories in trying to stump me: "What was the name of that babysitter we had who played Duran Duran albums and snuck her boyfriend in after we were in bed..."


The prom date question always depresses me, because I had neither.

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More secret questions means greater security--it's such a good excuse to extract marketing info from end-users that I'm a little surprised that companies don't use it.

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I think security question mentioned by single person individually is best option for privacy.


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