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“Security” run amuck – again February 21, 2011

Posted by globalizer in Unicode.
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The “security questions” that US web sites seem to think are a great security feature have now officially jumped the shark. A run of the mill online shopping site, vitacost.com, not only requires you to create an account before you can place an order (why?), they also require you to pick two “security questions” as part of the account setup.

They obviously haven’t quite understood what the purpose of the security questions is, however – they actually mask the input in the entry fields for the answers, and require you to “confirm” the answer, thus treating them exactly like password fields. So I now have 3 passwords for a web site I will obviously never use again, since it is way too much hassle. And if I were planning on using it again, I would of course have to write all this wonderful information down somewhere, since there’s no way I would remember it 3 days from now. This is obviously very secure…

And just to explain: I have to write the answers to the “security questions” down because the questions are always about something I have no real answers for: my mother’s middle name, the name of my high school mascot, etc.

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