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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 5th Apr 05, 11:39 AM
    • 8,111Posts
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    MSE Martin
    Get Your Mother's Maiden Name Wrong!
    • #1
    • 5th Apr 05, 11:39 AM
    Get Your Mother's Maiden Name Wrong! 5th Apr 05 at 11:39 AM
    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.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 1
    • Nile
    • By Nile 5th Apr 05, 12:01 PM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 14,292 Thanks
    Nile
    • #2
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:01 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:01 PM
    It's also a good idea to include upper case and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks in your password, for example

    NamE;845!
    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
    • Toxteth_OGrady
    • By Toxteth_OGrady 5th Apr 05, 12:26 PM
    • 3,921 Posts
    • 1,936 Thanks
    Toxteth_OGrady
    • #3
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:26 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:26 PM
    There was a thread along these lines a couple of weeks ago. See here.



    TOG
    604!!


    Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise
    • sra
    • By sra 5th Apr 05, 12:39 PM
    • 4,574 Posts
    • 3,197 Thanks
    sra
    • #4
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:39 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:39 PM
    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
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:45 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 05, 12:45 PM
    If you use Roboform

    http://www.roboform.com/

    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.
    • fatboyonadiet
    • By fatboyonadiet 5th Apr 05, 1:38 PM
    • 5,309 Posts
    • 2,250 Thanks
    fatboyonadiet
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 05, 1:38 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 05, 1:38 PM
    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
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 05, 1:52 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 05, 1:52 PM
    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
  • amazingkitkat
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 05, 2:16 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 05, 2:16 PM
    Korean common surname - "Kim"

    Chinese common surname - "Lee"

    what's other countries common surname???
    • Paul Varjak
    • By Paul Varjak 5th Apr 05, 3:30 PM
    • 4,326 Posts
    • 2,773 Thanks
    Paul Varjak
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 05, 3:30 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 05, 3:30 PM
    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
    • By student100 5th Apr 05, 7:42 PM
    • 1,054 Posts
    • 333 Thanks
    student100
    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
    by sra
    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 way...at 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 forget....it 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:
    http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/Research/CryptographySecurity/Survey/
    (it's completely anonymous).
    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • Impy
    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?
    • Joe_Bloggs
    • By Joe_Bloggs 6th Apr 05, 7:32 PM
    • 4,455 Posts
    • 1,565 Thanks
    Joe_Bloggs
    It is difficult to comment on the security protocols of financial intitutions without giving the of game away. A rotating question is often employed. You don't have to stick with the same username for unrelalated accounts . Some variation with the username is likely to provide additional security in my view.
    J_B.
    • bonzer
    • By bonzer 6th Apr 05, 10:52 PM
    • 399 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    bonzer
    A good way to generate obscure, difficult to guess passwords that you can still remember is to think of a memorable phrase and then use the initial letter of each word in the phrase as the password. Generally for banks you need 6 - 8 characters and sometimes involving a number so use 6 - 8 words and quote the number literally e.g the phrase:

    My 2 Dogs Said Banks Are Thieving Gits

    then your password is:

    M2DSBATG

    You can easily vary this system to generate an easy to remember password that is different for each financial institution by involving the name of the institution e.g. for your current account with HSBC use:

    My 2 Dogs Said HSBC Are Thieving Gits

    M2DSHATG

    For your savings account with Egg use:

    My 2 Dogs Said Egg Are Thieving Gits

    M2DSEATG

    As someone said on the other thread, if you really can't remember passwords then try Password Safe:

    http://www.schneier.com/passsafe.html

    This is a program that stores all your passwords in a file that is kept encrypted on your computer. You then use a single password to protect the lot and hence only have one to remember. The program was designed by Bruce Schneier who is a very well respected person in computer security and you can have some faith he knows what he's doing.

    Bonzer
  • too_short
    From personal experience I no longer use my mothers maiden name as a password. When American Express called my home, my mum answered the phone, pretended to be me and gave them her maiden name, needless to say I was not impressed at all especially as AMEX were demanding money from me when I had cancelled my card over a year before because I had never used it After several severe conversations with not only my mum but also with AMEX about data protection act etc I only managed to get an appology off of my mum and 18 months later, although they did say that it was a problem with their computer, I am still waiting for AMEX to appologise and stop sending me statements for a card which I haven't had in nearly 2 years.
    So I really do suggest that you don't use a family members name for a password especially if they can be mistaken to be you!
  • Queenie
    One tip I was given was to take a favourite place name and spell it backwards. ie: Wales would be selaw.

    In today's world it's passwords and pin numbers all the flipping time - wouldn't have been a problem for me 10yrs ago, but the ole grey matter isn't 'mattering' as much as it should do or used to and certainly doesn't matter enough to be able to remember all the different things I keep telling it *does* matter!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: 57.53 Pigsback Pot: 23.00
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    • Debt_Free_Chick
    • By Debt_Free_Chick 7th Apr 05, 1:30 PM
    • 13,149 Posts
    • 9,492 Thanks
    Debt_Free_Chick
    One tip I was given was to take a favourite place name and spell it backwards. ie: Wales would be selaw.

    In today's world it's passwords and pin numbers all the flipping time - wouldn't have been a problem for me 10yrs ago, but the ole grey matter isn't 'mattering' as much as it should do or used to and certainly doesn't matter enough to be able to remember all the different things I keep telling it *does* matter!!!!
    by Queenie
    LOL

    I'm with you on this one
    • Gorf123
    • By Gorf123 7th Apr 05, 7:42 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Gorf123
    You can test the strength of passwords here and it gives some tips...
    by sra
    Hmm - all the other advice you gave is great, but this site's not that good for beginners to test how good their password is, in my opinion. I put in six random letters (i.e. chance of less than one in 300 million) and it give quite a poor rating for the password. Put in one of my email addresses, and it maxed out as a brilliant password.

    :confused:
    • sra
    • By sra 7th Apr 05, 7:47 PM
    • 4,574 Posts
    • 3,197 Thanks
    sra
    Hmm - all the other advice you gave is great, but this site's not that good for beginners to test how good their password is, in my opinion. I put in six random letters (i.e. chance of less than one in 300 million) and it give quite a poor rating for the password. Put in one of my email addresses, and it maxed out as a brilliant password.

    :confused:
    by Gorf123
    fair point.

    You would expect them to remove @ as a good special character and even warn you that giving your email address as a password is a bad idea

    Welcome to the site
    Last edited by sra; 07-04-2005 at 8:13 PM.
  • birkee
    The option of using software to keep your passwords safe in encrypted form, is a good one, but.....
    what happens in the event of computer failure?
    I've had one computer fail so dramaticaly (I know not why.) that I lost everything. Sure, the hard drive was useable, but the rest was scrap....motherboard, processor, power supply etc, etc.
    Being a bought computer, with a recovery partition on the hard drive, I could not use the recovery partition on the new computer anyway, as the hardware was different.

    If you've lost your password software:-
    HOW....do you recover all your passwords? You've got them written down as well? Oh, that's all right then!

    Perhaps write your passwords in the clear in a word processor, and store the document on a USB memory stick. Copy and paste them to each site entry as required.

    TIP: Never buy a computer with preinstalled copy of Windows and a recovery partition on the hard drive. Change the computer, and you have to pay for ANOTHER copy of Windows! Insist on getting the Windows disc with any new computer.
    Last edited by birkee; 24-02-2011 at 1:29 PM. Reason: Addition
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 24th Feb 11, 4:58 PM
    • 5,298 Posts
    • 3,110 Thanks
    John Gray
    TIP: Never buy a computer with preinstalled copy of Windows and a recovery partition on the hard drive. Change the computer, and you have to pay for ANOTHER copy of Windows! Insist on getting the Windows disc with any new computer.
    Originally posted by birkee
    Did you notice that this thread is nearly SIX YEARS OLD?

    I wish you all the luck in the known universe in getting most of the major PC manufacturers of the world to change their policies, and provide a Windows boot disk.

    Especially when they say in LARGE UNFRIENDLY LETTERS to make a bootable recovery CD/DVD immediately after you power the new PC/laptop up for the first time...
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