Reviewing Apple ID Security Questions

Do you remember the answers to the security questions that you defined when creating your Apple ID? Have you ever had a situation where you've been asked a security question, either on the phone, or via a web page, only to draw a blank when it comes to responding?

I have. Not too long ago either I'm sad to say.

Fortunately, Apple understand this and provide the ability to reset these security questions. All they need to do is verify your identity by emailing your rescue email address.

In order to reset your security questions, sign in to your Apple ID account page and in the Security section, click Change Questions. Follow the prompts to enter your rescue email address and the rest is pretty plain sailing.

My Security Question Setup

As as additional, I thought I'd quickly let you know my workflow for both defiining and storing security questions for all services, not just for my Apple ID. It's very simple, I follow these two steps:

1) Give False Answers - information is everywhere and whether we like it or not, information specifically about us is far easier to find than we believe. Questions like What Is Your Mother's Maiden Name? are a hackers dream if you answer them correctly. To combat this, all of my security questions are formed of either an alphanumeric string, or string of random words. Examples include (and no, they are NOT my actual answers to anything!)

Q - Street You Were Born?
A - juggle_ring_taxi_crib

Q - Who Was Your Best Friend At School?
A - QH95!rt5_*

I know what some of you are thinking. "How can I enter that every time?". Well, think about how often you actually need to access your security questions. If it's a service I find myself using a lot (Business banking is one that occurs once every couple of weeks) then I will opt for the multiple word style answer, especially if this has to be given over the telephone. All others can be alphanumeric because the low frequency of entry versus the risk should the answer be obtained by some nefarious beings, is a no-brainer in my opinion.

2) Store the answers securely - let's be honest, despite the immense processing and recollection powers of the brain, answers like the ones given above will not be remembered. However when it comes to storage, they need to be secure.
All of my security questions are stored within 1Password. 1Password is an application for Mac/Windows/iOS/Android that stores information in an encrypted format, either locally or in a cloud storage solution and requires one password to open. This means you only need to commit one password to memory (hence the clever name...) allowing you to make it extremely secure. I use 1Password to store:

- All logins to sites
- Software Licences
- Credit Card/Banking information
- Secure Notes
- Passport information

I setup a Secure Note for each set of Security Questions that I create and I know that I can pull the answers up when required on either my laptop or mobile device as required.

There are other players in the market, such as LastPass and KeePass which are well worth a look.

We're more vulnerable than ever due to the advancements in technology we see day in, day out. Yet we can control a lot of these vulnerabilities with a little awareness and due diligence. We may feel like hackers will always find a way round, yet we can certainly make the job of getting access to our personal information an awful lot harder.