Remember when a hacker made Sarah Palin's personal emails public during the 2008 election season? Well, it wasn't the stealth moves of a seasoned hacker that gained access to the Vice Presidential candidate's Yahoo! account, it was a 20-year-old college student. Turns out that security questions like "What's your high school mascot?" aren't as secure as some people think.
If Google can tell your date where you grew up and Facebook can tell a new co-worker your birthday, it's not a stretch to assume that an identity theif can discover nearly every answer to your so-called "security questions."
Knowing those answers gives them an opportunity to reset your password and gain access to your account—any account where your only security is these "security" questions.
So how can you defend yourself? The answer is easy and surprisingly low-tech: Just lie!
Make up—and memorize—fake answers to these questions. By making your answers non-biographical, you're also making them unsearchable.
So go ahead and get creative. Your mother's maiden name is Iron Maiden and your high school mascot was a Chicken Sandwich? Perfect. And much safer than "Baker" and "the Bears."
(Image: T-shirt, Threadless)