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02.02.2014
This weekend, as we were registering for internet access to our cable company, we were faced with the now common problem of answering several security questions. As we muddled over answers to the several impossible questions, it came to me that any organization that chose to start mining data from these answers could develop quite a large dossier on us. Don’t get me wrong, there is good purpose for security questions and I am all about security. Emergency Preparedness FoodsThe easiest emergency preparedness foods are whatever canned or dried foods you normally eat.
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The Security Question tab in the Your Account window will allow you to change the security question required when resetting your password.
HOW-TO GEEK BOOKSRead our first book, the HTG Guide to Windows 8, or check our upcoming books. Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. Thankfully, many services are realizing security questions are very insecure and axing them.
RELATED ARTICLESecure Yourself by Using Two-Step Verification on These 16 Web ServicesTwo-factor authentication, also known as 2-step verification, provides additional security for your online accounts.
Not every service will reset your account and give someone else access just because they know the answer to your security question, but some will.
RELATED ARTICLEWhy You Should Use a Password Manager and How to Get StartedThe majority of people use very weak passwords and reuse them on different websites.
The obvious thing to do is not use real facts in your security question answers Where did you go to school?
It's definitely more accurate say that obvious answers are insecure rather than security questions in general. One recommendation - use security questions like a second password - and never disclose to anyone.
Of course, it's a good point, and I know that I have used some pretty lame security questions myself in the past before I discovered LastPass, but I can't remember what accounts I used them for. Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site.
Better yet, if you have a secure password solution for your accounts, like AuthAnvil, why not simply generate a randomized string of symbols and save it in your very own secure password vault? Some websites have realized that standard security questions, such as ‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ or ‘What is your pet’s name?’, are far too easy to figure out, even by strangers. First and foremost, you will want to pick a security question that is very hard to guess or find out, both for strangers and for people who know you well. Finally, in order not to undermine principle 1, you should never accidentally answer this question anywhere. Good examples are hard to give because ideally, they will be very personal and not generally applicable to a lot of people.
If you ever got a particularly good or bad grade, you likely remember the subject and teacher. Provided this is a vivid memory, this makes for a great question, provided it’s not a story you have shared far and wide.
Since most people are not very fond of their middle names and don’t typically use them online, this answer is hard to find out or guess. Enter your mobile number to receive a free text message with the download link for the app. Great idea, just need to load another GB of memory (left brain or right brain?) and I am all set. This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Stock images are in high demand these days, what with all the personal blogs and startup landing pages that make up such a large portion of the web. In the past year, there have been major network intrusions at many major consumer electronics companies, retailers, insurance companies, and more.
How many of you have lost a phone, had a phone stolen, left a phone unattended somewhere, or have had a close friend or family member do one of those? Which begs the question: Why would anyone want to tie their credit card or bank account details to a device that can easily go missing, or save it with a company that is likely to be hacked sooner, rather than later? Let’s look at the technologies and then we’ll discuss which is more secure and which is more convenient. Chip-and-PIN credit cards (Chip and PIN is a brand name) are credit cards that include an embedded chip, just like any other smartcard, that requires you to enter a PIN before the data on the chip can be accessed.
Near Field Communications (NFC) chips are the next generation of RFID, and are built into smartphones, smartcards, key fobs and other technologies that permit radio frequency communications between two devices when in extremely close proximity; essentially when touching. Apple partnered with retailers and the major credit card issuers to create a new payment system.
While Apple Pay seems to be revolutionary, most Android users will point out that they have had the option to pay using their mobile device for a couple of years.
At present, Google appears to be completing purchase transactions on behalf of users and then billing users for their purchases. No matter which version you use, it is arguably very convenient to pull out your phone, enter your PIN or swipe your finger, and then tap the payment terminal to complete the transaction.
When I look at the number of people who leave their phone sitting on the table when they get up to grab something, or have it sticking half-way out of their pocket, I cannot help but think how easy it would be for someone to steal their device – much easier than lifting a wallet from a pocket. A traditional magnetic-stripe credit card can easily be skimmed or even just rubbed when out of your sight, and that happens every day.


Ideally, the most secure portable payment would involve chip-and-pin or chip-and-biometric, and do away completely with magnetic strips and visible numbers.
A Certificate Authority (CA) will publish its Certificate Revocation List (CRL) to identify the serial numbers of certificates that are no longer valid.
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With all the sites collecting security answers that I have registered with, practically all payment portals for banking and bill paying, combined with their practice of asking new questions every 3 or 6 months, it wouldn’t take but a year or two for a savvy snoop to collect more information about me than even my closest confidant would know! They can be bought in small amounts at a time during each grocery trip and stored on shelves that allow for rotation (using your oldest items first and replacing them from the back with new items). They are normally dehydrated or freeze dried foods that are packaged in mylar bags that contain oxygen absorbers.
But, for all the time we spend worrying about our passwords, there’s a backdoor we never think about. Google and Microsoft no longer offer security questions for their accounts — instead, you can recover an account using an associated phone number. Other services use security questions as part of an authentication process that will require other personal information. Choose something that would be difficult for other people to find out or guess, not something like where you went to school. For example, "What was the name of your first pet?" is a great one for me, even if I use the true answer. The only way that I can think of finding out is if somebody goes to the trouble of hacking these accounts, and then I would probably find out somehow. If you really need that security question to access your account, for whatever reason, make it something that only you know. You could even write the secret question and ita€™s answer in the notes and rest securely in the knowledge that your secret question is just as, if not more secure, than your general use password. If you have heard of the guy who hacked into dozens of celebrity email accounts, you will understand. A jealous spouse or an angry ex-partner can cause a lot of trouble if they gain access to your online accounts. This could be a conscious effort or you simply choose a question that no one would ever think of asking for fun. Generally, events you are ashamed of and never told anyone about make for a great security questions.
To really increase security, especially on sites that don’t offer a custom security option, you can do what blogger Danah Boyd of Apophenia recommends and create your personal algorithm for security questions. I guess the key is that you won’t forget what your nonsensical answer to the question was.
Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.
However, when it comes to applications like Outlook, rules can be life savers, time rescuers, and clutter eliminators. All of these fall under the requirements of various regulations including PCI DSS, and were found to be compliant at the last audit they had before the intrusion took place.
To use a chip-and-PIN card, you have to insert the card into a reader, and then when it is time to tender payment, verify the amount and enter your PIN on a numeric keyboard.
Payment SIMs must comply with both the cellular carriers’ networks for which they are built and payment card industry standards so that they can be used as a vehicle with which to make payments.
Rather than storing credit card details, modern Apple devices use NFC technology to make secure payments through enabled hardware and dynamically generates a one-time payment code. The biggest difference between Apple Pay and Google Wallet is that Google Wallet actually stores credit card and debit card information on the device.
Also leveraging NFC and payment SIMs, Microsoft’s device can be used to pay in three modes – “while phone is unlocked,” “while screen is on,” “anytime.” While the convenience of not having to first unlock the device may be great for users whose corporate email policy requires a complex PIN, the idea of allowing payment without first unlocking the phone is quite scary if you consider all that would be needed is physical possession of the charged device. Security analysts have found vulnerabilities in Google Wallet, most of which have been remediated, but there still appears to be ways to access or intercept the PIN, perhaps by convincing the owner to install a malicious application. But what if someone with a small directional antenna is sitting nearby and “sniffs” the transaction, or eyeballs you entering your PIN and then pickpocket’s your phone?
And unless restaurants start to adopt portable terminals or have you pay at the front counter, you’re not likely to hand a waiter your phone to go run your payment. Chip-and-PIN cards seem to be the most secure, since they require actual physical contact and two-factor authentication, but these are still vulnerable as long as they have numbers embossed into them and use magnetic stripes for legacy systems.
Of course, until the processing hardware catches up, that’s an unlikely scenario, so hopefully Apple Pay will branch out to other mobile platforms, and all major phone vendors will start to embed fingerprint readers which will have to be used to unlock the payment SIM or other secure store for card details.
If so, leave a comment and let us know which one and how you feel about the security of the solution. The Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) with the location of the CRL is placed into the CA root certificate.
Questions like, “who was your favorite childhood actor?”, or “where is your favorite vacation destination?” left us scratching our heads with answers like “I have no freaking idea”! I have decided to use the same answer for all security questions, regardless of what the question is.
Although canned goods can last for many years when kept cool and dry, other boxed or bagged foods will need more frequent rotation.
The use of the mylar packaging and removal of O2 from the inside prohibits the growth of bacteria for long periods of time.
But what if your password gets leaked and you want to change it but you don’t remember the security questions. Or maybe you dona€™t access all of your accounts often enough to remember those specific passwords.


While this potentially provides a quick and easy way to recover your account, it also presents a security liability in case the answer is easy to guess or research.
Essentially, this guy could gain access to the star’s email accounts by guessing email addresses, passwords, and finding out answers to security questions. It’s better to prepare for the worst and not give an ill-natured individual the chance to harm you.
Keeping in mind that you may have to answer the question in a few years from now, the answer shouldn’t change over time or at least you should be able to answer it correctly in the future. For example, an ideal security question has many potential answers, but in alignment with principle 1, only you know the true answer. Alternatively, if you never received that particular grade, the answer could be nonsensical, such as ‘never happened’. In other words, you create a master key for security questions that functions as an answer.
If we assume that most of us will soon start to see and use chip-and-pin style credit cards, do any of us really think using a mobile device with Near Field Communication (NFC) will be more secure? It combines something you have, the card, with something you know, the PIN, and requires physical contact between the reader and the card, so there are no radio waves, skimming or other capabilities involved in reading data off the card. The normal range is 10cm or so, but a more powerful transmitter and antenna array operating at the correct frequency could operate at a greater distance.
Users must authenticate their device using the built-in fingerprint reader available in current model iPhones, or by code to older devices include iPads and the Apple Watch.
This makes the payment method less dependent on any one company and available to any vendor with one of the three major payment terminal types, but also means that if a device is lost or stolen, credit card data is stored on the device. If you have other ideas about what could make for a more secure payment plan, especially one that isn’t locked in to any one mobile device maker, cellular carrier, or credit card issuer, (and you already have you patent paperwork filed) leave a comment and let us know what you think would work better. A host that chooses to trust the CA can use that information to periodically poll the CRL to determine which certificates have been revoked and should no longer be used. Even if the answers aren’t public knowledge already, most normal people will share details like where they met their spouse and where they went to school in normal conversation.
Your account is no longer as secure as your password is, it’s only as secure as your most obvious security question.
You now just have a second password for your account — write it down somewhere secure or store it in a password manager like LastPass or KeePass so you can access it in case you ever need it. Whatever you do, be sure you aren’t opening a backdoor an attacker could use to bypass your password. And, of course, it's pretty easy to make up answers that are easy to remember yourself, but no one else would likely think of.
Lucky you though, youa€™ll always remember that beautiful honeymoon you spent in San Jose, California.
If you wanted to go to Paris for your honeymoon but wound up in Renoa€¦ well, Ia€™m sorry, but at the very least the memory of that disappointment can serve to secure your account! Also, while the answer should be hard to guess, the answer should still be short and simple, otherwise it’s probably not easy to remember. That way you only have to remember the master key to answer any security question you will ever set up. NFC runs at layer two, and while chips have their own OID, they do not themselves store data any more than a network card does.
Current users feel it is very convenient since they have their mobile device with them and very secure since they must authenticate using a fingerprint or unlock code.
Microsoft’s capabilities appear to be in the latest version of their mobile OS, but no applications seem to take advantage of it yet.
I will use yet another password or phrase – perhaps an arbitrary mix of letters and numbers that only I will forget (lol).
Here is how to change Apple ID password without security questions.Change Apple ID PasswordIf you have ever wanted to change the Apple ID password or the iCloud password you would know that it asks you some security questions before you actually proceed to change it. If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link then every time you re-use a password youa€™re adding another potential point-of-failure to that chain. It doesna€™t need to be embarrassing, but hey, if you remember the name or date of any particular life event that you know other people are unaware ofa€¦ just go with it.
Communications between NFC devices are vulnerable to sniffing, so applications must implement encryption to protect from eavesdropping. Initially available in the United States, Apple plans roll-outs internationally in the near future. Not only will this save me the embarrassment of admitting the name of my first ‘kiss”, it will thwart the nefarious data mining activities of big brother. But many of us don’t quite remember the answers to those questions; so in this case what should we do?
If you were using social media at the time, then anyone who wants to know can find out rather easily. Of course, you’ll want to keep this answer safe in case you ever need to provide it in the future. This will further connect you to an Apple representative or it will give you the ability to schedule and appointment for a call.
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