We harp on the importance of strong passwords, but for good reason. Unless you want to live off the grid, protecting the security of your online accounts and data is paramount. For instance, previously we have recommended the use of “multi-factor authentication” whenever available (see Privacy Peril from December 11, 2015). Multi-factor authentication typically involves the use of security questions for the user to answer (even though this is not true multi-factor authentication). Unfortunately, many of us choose questions whose answers are easily remembered and, unfortunately, easily discovered. A simple Google search can disclose your mother’s maiden name, what high school you attended, and even your first car. While selection of those questions can be acceptable, we recommend you at least provide a false answer. Very few mothers’ maiden name was Chachi, went to Grace King High School (Ellen attended, but graduated elsewhere), or drove a Rambler. Use of a fictitious word answer is even better.

Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.