We’re always striving to provide our customers with the latest in security prevention techniques. This isn’t new technology, but when our online banking detects abnormal behavior, it triggers one or more security challenge questions (ex. What’s the name of your best childhood friend?).
In our never-ending quest to provide robust security, we recently assembled a set of challenge questions that would ratchet up our security to a more intimate (and humanly uncomfortable) level. After assembling the proposed list, though, we concluded that these questions were a little…well…too creative.
Here are the ten questions that we ultimately decided against:
1. What is your weight?
To ensure an accurate number, we would automatically add five pounds to the amount entered. We ruled this one out because we felt it would elicit backlash from customers.
2. What does the fox say?
We all endured the viral video that became a worldwide Internet sensation. The truth is that—even after a total of 439 million views—no one fully knows what the fox says, which is why this question is almost genius. You could literally type in anything, and we’d accept it. But, we deemed it was “too outrageous” for a security question. Also considered: Who let the dogs out?
3. What was the first thing you ever stole?
This question was more for our purposes, helping us identify which customers we should keep a closer eye on.
4. If your mother-in-law was a movie villain, which villain would she be?
Yes, this is a little stereotypical. And no, we don’t think everyone is easily annoyed by their mother-in-law. But, when we tested this question with focus groups, we were surprised (and somewhat disturbed) at the various entries: Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Seriously? Ivan Drago? That’s messed up.
5. What is the worst meal your spouse cooks? (“They don’t cook” or “Take-out Please!” are acceptable answers)
For spouses who share an online banking login, this question often led to arguing. So, our legal counsel advised us that we’d need to cut the question entirely or add a disclaimer that we would not be liable for damages “including but not limited to expenses related to marriage counseling.”
6. What is the real reason you call in “sick” to work?
Wow! The results from our focus groups were disturbing. For the sake of employers everywhere, we won’t be releasing the results.
7. According to the Internet, which “Mad Men” character are you?
It seems like half of the Internet population has—at one time or another—taken the “Mad Men Personality Test.” But, due to excessive alcohol consumption during work hours and a host of other issues portrayed on the show, we decided it was in our best interest to drop this question.
8. What is your favorite Justin Bieber song?
Admit it, you have one. Is it “Boyfriend?” “As Long as You Love Me?” Or, maybe you’re a fan of pre-pubescent Justin Bieber and like to jam along with “Baby.” Either way, “believe” us when we say that hackers “all around the world” would have trouble guessing the correct answer to this question. At the moment, though, we don’t have plans to use this question. But hey, you can “never say never.”
9. What degree of separation are you away from Kevin Bacon?
We love this question! And, we love Kevin Bacon! But, our online banking system kept timing-out while people tried to calculate how many degrees they were separated from the Footloose actor.
10. Turn down for what?
Based on our extensive research, there are many things that the average American will “turn down,” including the bed…or the thermostat. It appears that only DJ Snake and Lil Jon are incapable of turning down for anything.
If you haven’t figured out by now, we were never actually considering these as legitimate questions. We hope you found them at least somewhat entertaining, and if you want to know what we really think about online security, we hope you’ll check out these additional resources:
- Your password isn’t as strong as you think it is
- The Ultimate Summer Phishing Guide: Don’t take the bait
- The 3 things you need to know about ransomware
- Corporate Account Takeover: The crime trend every business should be aware of
- The 15 second tip to protect yourself from unauthorized ACH debits
- Who is your least favorite sibling?
- What is your real hair color?