Have you ever been hacked? Do you know someone who has been hacked before? Most people I talk to say they feel as though they don’t know enough about computer security. I’ve spent a majority of my career protecting the networks of large companies and I’ve been able to translate what I’ve learned there in to simple tips and techniques that the average computer user can implement to ensure they protect their digital life.
I created a course, A Hacker’s Guide to Internet Safety and Cybersecurity, to teach those tips and techniques. The course has over 30 lectures and over 2 hours of content.
Through out this week I’ll be posting a new preview video on our YouTube channel so you can get an idea of what the class will be like. If you like what you see I’ll be posting a special coupon on Monday July 23rd so that you can enroll at our special introductory price.
Password Reset Questions
We’ve all been there, you enter your password and get the “Incorrect Password” error. You panic because you can’t get in to your account. Then the magical password reset link appears just below the error like an angel from heaven.
Most of the time when you set up an account anywhere online, part of the registration process is to set up password reset questions in case you forget your password. We all typically set up the standard questions:
- What’s your mother’s maiden name?
- What was the make of your first car?
- What is your maternal grandmother’s first name?
These questions are easy questions for us to remember for when we forget our password, but what most people don’t think about is that most of this information is public information. Attackers can easily find out the answers to these questions. A lot of information on your family is public record and sites like ancestry.com have done a great job of collecting these public records and providing a place for everyone to search for them.
How to Choose More Secure Password Reset Questions
Hackers have in the past used the answers to these questions to compromise people’s online accounts. In the video preview I suggest changing the way you answer your password reset questions. The first way to ensure that hacker’s can’t use your password reset questions against you would be to ensure that you choose questions that are not public information. Questions like “What is your favorite food?” or “Where was your favorite childhood vacation?” are better questions because that is not something that a hacker can easily research from public records.
If you are unable to choose password reset questions about your likes and dislikes then you could always lie on the more public record questions. For example if you put your best friend’s last name as the answer to “what is your mother’s maiden name?” hacker’s won’t be able to correctly answer that question from the public research they’ve done.