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Make your security answer a little weirder

Most sites requiring registration ask you to choose a “secret question” to which only you supposedly know the answer. Of course, in the age of Google, the city where you were born and your mother’s maiden name may no longer be the best kept secrets in the world.

So, next time you register for a site and it asks for your response to a challenge question, choose something that’s completely insane, but really memorable to you.

As an example, for your birth city, you might type “Bubbleyum” or for your Mother’s maiden name, you might punch in “Chilean Sea Bass.” The point is to pick something 1) totally outlandish that’s 2) memorable to you. That way, you can be consistent in reusing your fake answers from one site to the next without the need for a lot of separate notes (while hopefully making the “correct” answers a little less useful to potential crackers).

Not military-grade stuff by a long shot, but a simple, painless way to safety up just a bit.

Related: check out this cool bookmarklet for giving your generic internet password an easy extra measure of obfuscation.

TOPICS: Tricks

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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