Keeping your accounts secure

by googler@evpl on Saturday, September 20 2008, 9:16am. Viewed 847 times.

The person who apparently gained access to Sarah Palin's e-mail account says it was easy -- the governor answered her "security questions" factually, and they were easily researched.

This might make you wonder about how secure your accounts are. If you're answering your security questions factually with easily researched answers, well, they're not.

But there's no law that says you have to answer them factually. You have a couple of options. One is to lie. If your favorite teacher was bald, give his name as Mr. Clean, not his real name. Another idea is to add a nonsense syllable to your answers. Your first pet's name, Tiger, becomes TigerYO or TigerHA.

There's always been some controversy about whether you should write down passwords and security answers, but I think Bruce Schneier has it right when he says you're safer using strong passwords, writing them down, and storing them in a secure place, than using simple passwords you can remember but which are much more vulnerable. If you're using a gimmick to make your security questions safer, the same goes for those answers.

Most of us are not as likely to become targets of this kind of "hacking" as a VP candidate, but safe computing is usually fairly easy and a good habit to cultivate.

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googler@evpl wrote
on Monday, September 22 2008, 12:16pm

Lifehacker, I just saw, recently had an entry about the best password managers, which is another way to safely keep track of passwords.