Welcome to Insecurity Questions! We’re collecting and sharing the ridiculous “security” questions that everyone commonly gets asked — and required to answer — in the course of creating a login account on many services.
These “security” questions are the opposite of security. They often create an alternate way of logging in, using information that is public or very nearly so. Answers to questions like “What high school did you attend?” are, for many people, readily available from Facebook and similar social media. Similarly, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” is often answered on genealogy websites.
Of course, security geeks all know that you can answer the questions non-truthfully: mother’s maiden name as WlRUdFrhDiwm or something like that. But that misses the point of having a prompt at all, and many people probably confuse this process with Identity Proofing, where answers are matched up with public or credit bureau records, and think that they have to answer truthfully.
So we’re hoping that by getting a lot of these questions in one place, we can emphasize what a bad practice this is, and entertain you at the same time.
You can help! We’re happy to get submissions from our readers. Please include the following:
- Name of the site
- Circumstances where you were asked/required to create security questions (new account, or just some time you logged in, for example)
- Screen grabs of the question selection dialogs
- How many questions/answers were required?
- Were the same, or different, questions were asked for each question/answer? (if different, please include all sets of questions)
- Was answering the questions optional or required?
- Is there anything you see that’s particularly funny or unusual about the questions?
- Would you like your submission to be attributed to you on the site?
Please send this to email@example.com. We may be inundated with submissions or not; no way to tell, and day-job workloads vary widely so please be patient if we don’t get your example up on the site quickly.