When you go around the web the one thing that you probably notice is that websites always want you to sign up for their service. They want your username and your password in their database. And there is no nefarious reason why. They just want your name and information on their mailing list so that you will keep coming back. They want to advertise both their service and maybe a service of a third party that they get paid for promoting. Even though signing up for one or two websites may not be a big deal, it soon starts to become a big deal when now you have to worry about signing up for six or seven or eight different websites. Now you have a lot of passwords to remember.
Or at least you should have a lot of passwords to remember. One of the first rules of computer security is to never use the same password on different websites that you go to. Too many people do this and when the website that they have signed up for has become compromised it is too easy for the bad guys to be able to access other websites that the person may visit. Since you are using the same username and password, once they find out where your email account is, or where you bank is at, they will be able to easily get in. But if you had used a different username and passwords on these sites then it would not be so easy.
But while you are being told not to use the same username and password on different websites, there should be another thing that you are told as well. And this other thing is for you not to use the same security questions answers on different website.
When you sign up for a website you are usually asked security questions just in case you forget your password. And once these websites have the answer to these questions they are stored in their database. This makes sure that they can then safely ask you these questions in the future so that you can confirm who you are. This will make sure that they are able to send your password to you in case you forget it. The problem with this scenario is that most of the websites who use this kind of system always ask the same questions.
They ask questions such as what’s your mother’s maiden name. And they also ask what school you went to during high school, and they ask what the name of your favorite pet was. It starts to become a routine because you see these same questions on all of the websites now. So now the bad guys do not need your password to other websites that you might have visited, all they need now is the answer to the right security questions. Once they have that, the system will send the password to your email address. And if they have access to your email address they will be able to get into anywhere that you might have visited.
That is why you might want to answer the questions a different way when you are signing up for more websites in the future. Instead of giving your mother’s maiden name on all of these sites, instead give them her middle name. And instead of giving them your favorite pet’s name, give them the name of the goldfish that you had when you were ten years old. The key thing that you want to do is stop the repetition so the bad guys do not have a pattern about you that they can follow.
Be smart when it comes to websites that you are signing up for and how you sign up for them. If not the bad guys will do it for you.