Indianapolis News and Headlines


How secure are your security questions?

Posted at 8:59 AM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 08:59:53-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- With so many passwords for some many websites and services, we use security questions all the time for access to our accounts.

There are more ways to keep your accounts safe than just clever answers to the questions.

IUPUI cybersecurity professional Scott Orr has worked in the field for 25 years, so he knows the pitfalls when trying to keep your accounts secure. 

"The problem is, a lot of the questions, for one, have very easy-to-find information," Orr said. 

A Google study shows that with one attempt, an attacker's chance of guessing your favorite food is 19.7 percent. 

The two easiest security questions to answer are "What city were you born in?" and "What is your father's middle name?"

Also, don't try to fake an answer. People who provide fake answers often choose the same fake answers for multiple accounts.

Orr recommends turning on two-factor authentication, 

"Two-factor authentication is just a great way of really protecting yourself," he said.

The other factor of authentication can be a PIN, another password, a fingerprint or even a voice print. If you forget your password, you can get a password reset code texted to your phone.

"As long as you're the only one who has access to your phone, you're great," Orr said. 

Two-factor authentication on Facebook

Two-factor authentication on Google