How many websites and services have you signed up with where they ask and record personal questions? From Facebook to Yahoo, Match to Pandora. There are a lot of websites out there storing your personal information.
The problem is, those same questions are being asked on websites where money might be involved, lot of money. Think about it. Your mother’s maiden name seems innocuous enough. So you input as one of your password reminders questions with Verizon. You did it too with the App Store and even Amazon. You probably did it with your bank and your credit card company. Perhaps you did the same with the first concert you went to or your first pets name.
You have a few minutes to kill on Facebook and a friend posts a seemingly innocent question about the first concert you went to. You trust your friend implicitly and you want to play along. Do you trust all your friend’s friends? How about their friends. Too many websites rely on what is seemingly innocent questions that a hacker only needs to know a few details about you to attempt identity fraud. Think about it. Your phone number is probably on your Facebook page. So too is your date of birth. Now answer a few questions about your first pet and so on, and a determined hacker can worm their way into your credit card and bank accounts.
So, change some of those answers on important websites. No bank is going to challenge you if you say your very first concert was Enrico Caruso (1873-1921) or Bessie Smith (1894-1937). They won’t chide you if you list your first pet as Yertle the Turtle or The Cat in the Hat either. Just like not having the same password for every website, so too should your answers in these sort of questions vary a bit. I am all for transparency, but not when it might cost me money and time, and as well all know, time is money.