Jewish World Review Jan 27, 2012/ 3 Shevat, 5772
PINhead terrible at security questions
By Lori Borgman
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is one of the most dreaded questions of our time: "What's your PIN number?"
I had a question about our cell phone contract and the agent asked for my PIN. I went weak in the knees. I always feel like such a failure when I can't remember a PIN, almost like a, well, PINhead.
"I have no idea," I sighed. "Let's just skip right to the question game."
The question game is a lively round of Q and A where the agent sees if you can remember any of your answers to the 3,000 security questions you answered at the time you signed up for your PIN in the highly likely event you would forget your PIN.
The agent started with the question I loathe.
Who has a favorite color? Maybe when I was six and played with Barbies, but not now.
"I'm going to go with maroon," I say. I sound like a Wheel of Fortune contestant asking to buy a vowel.
"Cranberry? Crimson? Claret? Reds. I like all the reds. Am I in the wrong color family? Can you give me a hint - should I be guessing in the blues?"
Still no answer.
"How about a clue as to the season it was, or the mood I was in, at the time I answered the question? If I was depressed I might have said gray. If it was spring I probably said yellow and if it was fall I would have said orange."
Apparently I wasn't even warm. "Name of favorite pet?" the agent asks.
"Feline or canine?" I ask.
"Dead or alive?" I ask.
The agent is not amused.
"Street you grew up on?" the voice asks.
"Well, there are two possible answers. We moved when I was a child. If you can give me a state, I can pin it down."
It's not any better when you forget a password on-line and have to answer security questions on a screen.
Security question: Name of college you attended.
I try University of Missouri. No luck. I try Missouri University. Nothing. I try MU. I try all caps, no caps and Go Tigers.
After multiple attempts, the screen displays a message saying, "Goodbye. Sorry, we can't be sure you're you."
The other day I was entering a PIN to check on some airline miles and a pop-up appeared offering three tips on PINs. The first one said, "Never keep any record of your PIN." The second one said, "Don't ever tell anyone your PIN." The third one said, "Never make your PIN obvious, such as your Social Security number, your address or the year you were born."
I would never create a PIN using such obvious numbers. My PINS are obscure jumbles. I never write them down and keep them secret. Top secret.
My PINS are so secret that some days not even I know them.
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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of , most recently, "Catching Christmas" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) and I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.
© 2012, Lori Borgman
© 2012, Lori Borgman