Get Your Mother's Maiden Name Wrong!

MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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Money Saving Expert
It's one of the most common internet security questions yet birth certificates, Uncle's phone calls, your family can make this easily available. So instead, do what I do. Use a consistent, fake name that only you know.

Secondly, do be very, very careful about passwords. Sadly people often use the same password for lots of sites including their online financial sites.

Let me ask you a question. Is your password the same for this site as it is for online banking and credit cards? If it is, and I was unscrupulous (don't worry I'm not) I've now got your user name (same one for elsewhere?) and password......

And some sites would have an email, address, user name, and password..... it wouldn't be that difficult.

Be careful. Rotate passwords, or at the very least use a different password for financial and non-financial sites.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • Nile
    Nile Posts: 14,930
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    It's also a good idea to include upper case and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks in your password, for example

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  • Toxteth_OGrady
    Toxteth_OGrady Posts: 3,959 Forumite
    There was a thread along these lines a couple of weeks ago. See here.


  • sra
    sra Posts: 4,683
    Combo Breaker First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    You can test the strength of passwords here and it gives some tips
    (though personally I wouldn't be giving my actual passwords to an unkown unsecure site - just test similar ones)

    Techinically they say you should have a different password and username for every site you register for - but that's a heck of a lot of work

    I use levels - a low-level username and password that I give to lots of sites don't care much if it is compromised

    A mid-level password and username that might be very inconvenient if was found out

    And all my financial stuff is seperate usernames and passwords
  • shrek101
    shrek101 Posts: 2,249 Forumite
    If you use Roboform

    You not only be able to remember your passwords but it has a builtin password generator which can save both upper and lower case combination, you can also increase the length of password thus making even more difficult to recall, but passwords are saved and you can make them secure.

    No longer a user, goodbye folks. PLEASE delete my account. Thank you
  • fatboyonadiet
    fatboyonadiet Posts: 5,397
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Used to work in a call centre and it is amazing how many Asian people have the same mothers maiden name - something to do with their name before they get married.
    2p off is still 2p off!
  • andy88_2
    andy88_2 Posts: 3,676
    Combo Breaker First Post
    There was an occasion when the bank refused to talk to my mother about a transaction between our accounts then explained that for security reasons they needed to ask me her maiden name and my date of birth; she could have told you that I said :rotfl:
  • Korean common surname - "Kim"

    Chinese common surname - "Lee"

    what's other countries common surname??? :beer:
    ☆ ╭┐┌╮
    ☆ ╭┘╰┘╰╮
    ☆ ╰┐..┌┘─╮
    ☆ ╭┴──┤ ├╮
    ☆ │o o│ │
    ☆ ╰┬──╯   │
    ☆ [url="file://\ˍ│ˍ/ˍˍ/"]\\ˍ│ˍ/ˍˍ/[/url]
  • Paul_Varjak
    Paul_Varjak Posts: 4,627
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My telephone company uses mother's maiden name as the security question. The problem is when I became power of attorney for my mum. They asked me "What is your mother's maiden name?". Of course, the answer I gave was wrong!
  • student100
    student100 Posts: 1,059
    Combo Breaker First Post
    sra wrote:
    I use levels - a low-level username and password that I give to lots of sites don't care much if it is compromised

    A mid-level password and username that might be very inconvenient if was found out

    And all my financial stuff is seperate usernames and passwords

    I do exactly the same. Even so I must have at least a dozen passwords and half a dozen PINs that I use on a regular basis, and pretty much all the passwords are cryptic in some the moment I don't have them written down and I can remember them all but I'm not looking forward to the day when I completely would be inconvenient to say the least.

    Actually if you're interested, on this subject, there are some people in my department at university who are doing a survey about how people do or don't choose effective passwords as part of some computer security research - if you want to help you can fill this out:
    (it's completely anonymous).
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • Impy_2
    Impy_2 Posts: 6 Forumite
    So, reading this thread has made me realise it would be wise to change some passwords........but I can't really change my mother's maiden name with existing "users" of that info - eg my bank, can I?
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