Identity theft is pervasive in the digital age. Hackers are actively working to break passwords, steal information, and cause general chaos in the marketplace. While their techniques are quite sophisticated and often effective, there is a lot you can do to protect your sensitive online information.
Of course, good online security starts with strong passwords. But there are other security measures that aren’t as straightforward as they may seem.
The Trouble with Security Questions
You probably have several accounts that ask you to set up one or more security questions as an added layer of protection. These might be things like “What’s your pet’s name?” or “What was your high school mascot?” or “What was your mother’s maiden name?” On the surface, these questions seem pretty personal, but nearly every detail of our identity can be found somewhere, somehow on the worldwide web. This is especially true if you are an avid user of social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin actually had her email account hacked because of poor security questions. (Pretty sure we all remember that!) The hacker was actually able to reset her Yahoo email password by looking up publicly available biographical information and correctly answering personal questions about Ms. Palin. Even though your life is probably not as public as Sarah Palin’s, even your Facebook page might provide a hacker with enough information to break into your life.
Security Question Tips
This is not to say that security questions are completely useless. Clever security questions will ask you for information that isn’t so readily available. Still, if the security questions aren’t so creative, your responses can be. One strategy is to respond with made up names, places, or details that you can easily remember. If your high school mascot was a Cougar, for example, you might use a related term like “Mercury” (like the car) or “Wildcat.” Or you could even just use a completely wrong or random answer that a hacker would never be able to guess.
By combining smart security question answers with strong passwords, you will have done your part to secure your online identity. But there are a number of security measures that must be taken by companies. Data102 helps businesses secure sensitive data to keep their customers safe. If you need to lock down your online data for your customers, give Colorado Springs’ leading datacenter Data102 a call today.