August 29, 2007

Security Questions Revisited

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:08 pm by Ian

Regarding my not-too-recent post about Washington Mutual’s security questions, I have two other anecdotes to share with you.

The first is a story about a call I made to some bank or other a while ago after its website had maliciously stopped accepting the password that I thought it was supposed to. After a few attempts, it locked me out and forced me to call a nice woman who would reset it for me. Before doing so, she had to ask me a whole bunch of questions, culminating in her asking me my security question. Apparently this particular bank had let me select my own security question, rather than picking from a list of stupid ones. But I rose to the occasion and selected a stupid one of my own design.

The question she asked me—and I could tell she was grinning from ear to ear when she asked me—was

“What am I the very model of?”

“Uhm… A modern major general?”

We both broke out laughing at it, and then she had to try to finish up her “what else can I help you with” script through her laughter. It was probably the most personable and enjoyable customer support experience I’ve ever had.

The other datum is that, since then, I have learned an even better security question/answer pair to use when you get to choose your own. The question is “What are you wearing?” And when the person on the phone asks you, you answer “That is a very inappropriate question!”



  1. Liza said,

    I think you’re a comedy genius.

  2. Evan said,

    Did you know that datum is also an ingredient in processed food products?

  3. Dad said,

    Or perhaps “How long is it?”

  4. Ian said,

    “Of what is my hovercraft full?”

  5. dancermama said,

    Who goes there?
    What is your favorite color?
    Blue , ah no. I mean yellow…..Oh noooooooo. Arghhhhh thud.
    From Monty Python fame.

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