Friday, January 2, 2015

Completely Random Rumination

Day 2.

Don't say I didn't warn you that these things might be pretty random.

I was thinking today... why do we as a country (world?) continue to use our mothers' maiden names for security reasons? A person who can find my mother's maiden name is someone who can trigger password recovery processes for several different websites - and I mean important ones, like pertaining to my money! They can also make changes to my cable service and I think even access my medical records.

Maiden names aren't nearly as hard to come by as they used to be. In an age when many women don't change their names when they get married, or hyphenate or even hybridize their names (is hybridize a word?), are their children just out of luck when they grow up and are prompted to use their mother's current last name for a security word? Heck, some women do change their names when they get married and still include their maiden names on sites like Facebook. Just right out there for the whole world to see.

I'm a subscribing member to Ancestry. I bet I can find pretty much anyone's maiden name there. If I come into some money in the near future, don't think anything of it. Deal?

How about we use our mothers' middle names for security? Or grandmothers' middle or maiden names?  Or how about, heaven forbid, we choose our own security word and have to remember it like responsible adults?

Speaking of security words, when I was in middle school, my mother gave me a security word for logistics and safety purposes. She said that if anyone ever tried to pick me up from school or offered me a ride claiming that she or Dad had sent them, that I was NOT to go with them unless they had the security word. We never had to use that system, but looking back on it now, I kind of think it was brilliant. 

So, yeah. If you ever want to kidnap me, the security word is broccoli. But please at least take me somewhere nice, with a soaker tub and a view and no bills and where it's always 60 degrees and drizzling.

Thank you in advance.


Beth said...

I completely agree! I have substituted other words for my mother's maiden name, after all, how are the requirers going to know? Good options include school names (Smith, Winship, Mills) or street names (Kelly).

Also, as a kid, we had a security word too: boing, because off my curly curly hair. And we never used it either,it it always made me feel good.

Amber said...

Great point, Beth! My only issue with that is my own lack of memory. If I have to call the company two years from now for a password or something, and they ask for my mother's maiden name, it probably won't even cross my mind that I used something else. ;)