what if I forget my security questions?

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forkhorn
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what if I forget my security questions?

Post by forkhorn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:50 pm

I'm nervous about the equifax breach (and similar ones). I don't care so much about someone taking out a loan in my name. That would be a hassle, but I'd come out ok. What I really really care about is someone taking over my investment accounts by claiming to be me and knowing all my personal info. If they somehow also took over my phone and/or email I could be in trouble.

So I've been thinking about the often-recommended practice around here of using untruthful answers to the security questions (mother's maiden name, make of first car, favorite pet, first girlfriend, etc). It would be easy to say that my first care was a "calculator", or similar. Or even that it was a "bi0&lrr4!s". But either way, I'd have to write it down and file it away.

My question is what happens if for some reason far in the future I lose the answers to my security questions? Do I have to present myself to a brick and mortar location with three forms of ID? In the case of Vanguard, with almost no brick and mortar locations, what then?

I know the best solution is not to lose the answers, have three backups, etc. But what if you did lose them?

Thanks.

livesoft
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by livesoft » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 pm

I've forgotten my security questions, so I call them up and they reset everything for me. It is really that easy. Then they send a letter to my address and tell me that they had someone call them up. I didn't try to change my address or anything, so I guess that's why they complied.

Another time at USAA, my spouse was trying to use my account by phone, so all I heard was "My husband is in the other room .... " then "Hey Live, what's your PIN so I can tell them over the phone." I never spoke on the phone and my spouse was able to hack into my account with help from the rep.
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LadyGeek
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:25 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (website security).
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Silk McCue
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Silk McCue » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 pm

You would benefit from buying an encrypted password vault that runs across your multiple devices (PC, iPhone, etc). You can then record your answers for each account because you WILL forget the answers if they aren't real. I use one called mSecure and it creates highly complex passwords that I could never remember but can copy and paste from any of my devices. There are many other products on the market besides the one I mentioned.

Silk McCue
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Silk McCue » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:33 pm

Just came across this current thread that provides other solutions folks have used.

viewtopic.php?p=3561773#p3561773

forkhorn
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by forkhorn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:50 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 pm
You would benefit from buying an encrypted password vault that runs across your multiple devices (PC, iPhone, etc). You can then record your answers for each account because you WILL forget the answers if they aren't real. I use one called mSecure and it creates highly complex passwords that I could never remember but can copy and paste from any of my devices. There are many other products on the market besides the one I mentioned.
But the point of the questions is to reset your password if you lose your password. Keeping the security questions in a password manager with the password seems to defeat the whole purpose, since losing one would almost certainly mean losing them all. So then you'd be back to my original scenario of forgetting your security questions.

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TimeRunner
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:52 pm

Use lastpass or dashlane and put the security questions and answers in the "notes" section, so you can refer to them when signing on. Put your lastpass/dashlane ID and authentication somewhere very safe.
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forkhorn
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by forkhorn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:53 pm

livesoft wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 pm
I've forgotten my security questions, so I call them up and they reset everything for me. It is really that easy. Then they send a letter to my address and tell me that they had someone call them up. I didn't try to change my address or anything, so I guess that's why they complied.
Hmmm. That is surprisingly easy. Almost worryingly so. I was envisioning having to fly to Pennsylvania with a passport and get fingerprinted or something!

whomever
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by whomever » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:13 am

We write ours on paper and store them in a safe deposit box. We actually have two envelopes; one stays at the bank, and the other comes home as needed.

For us, 'as needed' isn't very often, maybe once or twice a year.

Silk McCue
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:37 am

forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:50 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 pm
You would benefit from buying an encrypted password vault that runs across your multiple devices (PC, iPhone, etc). You can then record your answers for each account because you WILL forget the answers if they aren't real. I use one called mSecure and it creates highly complex passwords that I could never remember but can copy and paste from any of my devices. There are many other products on the market besides the one I mentioned.
But the point of the questions is to reset your password if you lose your password. Keeping the security questions in a password manager with the password seems to defeat the whole purpose, since losing one would almost certainly mean losing them all. So then you'd be back to my original scenario of forgetting your security questions.
Sorry. If you are unable to figure out how to not lose track of the one password that would give you access to all your passwords and security questions then I am unable to help you. Btw - the hint I set on MSecure is “love anniversary” that is a mind trigger for me that tells me exactly what the password is and would be of no help to anyone else. I’m certain you can come up with something like “stupid neighbor”, “mangy mutt” etc as long as it it triggers an unambiguous response with the correct password.

wrongfunds
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by wrongfunds » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:40 am

Isn't the real problem being institutes are quite lax in bailing customers out when password is forgotten? there is really NOTHING that you as a customer can do to fix *that* problem :-(

I have asked some of the financial institutions to disable on-line activity and require written notarized paper trail for withdrawal. They tell me that they will mark the account with those instruction. I am not convinced that the institutions have yet grabbed the severity of the current situation.

Tamales
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Tamales » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:41 am

forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:53 pm
livesoft wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 pm
I've forgotten my security questions, so I call them up and they reset everything for me. It is really that easy. Then they send a letter to my address and tell me that they had someone call them up. I didn't try to change my address or anything, so I guess that's why they complied.
Hmmm. That is surprisingly easy. Almost worryingly so. I was envisioning having to fly to Pennsylvania with a passport and get fingerprinted or something!
They also probably rely on you are calling them via an 800 number (or 888 or whatever), and the caller ID of the number you are calling from matches their records for the phone number associated with the account. Caller ID blocking (i.e. *67 on most landline systems) doesn't work when you call 800 numbers, and I believe CallerID spoofing doesn't work quite the same when you call 800 numbers either. The person on the other end will usually say, "I see the number you are calling from matches our records."

michaeljc70
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:54 am

I use 2 factor authentication with Vanguard. I can only log in with my password on my computer. If I try another device, it sends a text to my phone with a code I have to enter. I don't use security questions generally (though they might ask them if I called or wanted to reset my password). If someone had my username and password it would do them no good unless they also had my cell phone or computer.

forkhorn
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by forkhorn » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:13 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:37 am
forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:50 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 pm
You would benefit from buying an encrypted password vault that runs across your multiple devices (PC, iPhone, etc). You can then record your answers for each account because you WILL forget the answers if they aren't real. I use one called mSecure and it creates highly complex passwords that I could never remember but can copy and paste from any of my devices. There are many other products on the market besides the one I mentioned.
But the point of the questions is to reset your password if you lose your password. Keeping the security questions in a password manager with the password seems to defeat the whole purpose, since losing one would almost certainly mean losing them all. So then you'd be back to my original scenario of forgetting your security questions.
Sorry. If you are unable to figure out how to not lose track of the one password that would give you access to all your passwords and security questions then I am unable to help you. Btw - the hint I set on MSecure is “love anniversary” that is a mind trigger for me that tells me exactly what the password is and would be of no help to anyone else. I’m certain you can come up with something like “stupid neighbor”, “mangy mutt” etc as long as it it triggers an unambiguous response with the correct password.
That isn't the failure mode I would worry about. The scenario I'd worry about is if the password manager was suddenly no longer available or was somehow corrupted. Then you'd have no idea what your password or answers to your security questions were. All it takes for you to be in the situation I describe is for MSecure to somehow fail.

forkhorn
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by forkhorn » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:16 pm

Tamales wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:41 am
forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:53 pm
livesoft wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 pm
I've forgotten my security questions, so I call them up and they reset everything for me. It is really that easy. Then they send a letter to my address and tell me that they had someone call them up. I didn't try to change my address or anything, so I guess that's why they complied.
Hmmm. That is surprisingly easy. Almost worryingly so. I was envisioning having to fly to Pennsylvania with a passport and get fingerprinted or something!
They also probably rely on you are calling them via an 800 number (or 888 or whatever), and the caller ID of the number you are calling from matches their records for the phone number associated with the account. Caller ID blocking (i.e. *67 on most landline systems) doesn't work when you call 800 numbers, and I believe CallerID spoofing doesn't work quite the same when you call 800 numbers either. The person on the other end will usually say, "I see the number you are calling from matches our records."
Makes sense. Hopefully you're right and they'd require something other than my name to reset my account.

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F150HD
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by F150HD » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:17 pm

I don't care so much about someone taking out a loan in my name.
???

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tadamsmar
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by tadamsmar » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:30 pm

forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:50 pm
I'm nervous about the equifax breach (and similar ones). I don't care so much about someone taking out a loan in my name. That would be a hassle, but I'd come out ok. What I really really care about is someone taking over my investment accounts by claiming to be me and knowing all my personal info. If they somehow also took over my phone and/or email I could be in trouble.

So I've been thinking about the often-recommended practice around here of using untruthful answers to the security questions (mother's maiden name, make of first car, favorite pet, first girlfriend, etc). It would be easy to say that my first care was a "calculator", or similar. Or even that it was a "bi0&lrr4!s". But either way, I'd have to write it down and file it away.

My question is what happens if for some reason far in the future I lose the answers to my security questions? Do I have to present myself to a brick and mortar location with three forms of ID? In the case of Vanguard, with almost no brick and mortar locations, what then?

I know the best solution is not to lose the answers, have three backups, etc. But what if you did lose them?

Thanks.
You could say your first car was: Ford My Own Secret Word

But, you can't use that exact one now because I just posted it!

Anyway, I hope you get some ideas :wink:

Xpe
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Xpe » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:35 am

forkhorn wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:13 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:37 am
forkhorn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:50 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:29 pm
You would benefit from buying an encrypted password vault that runs across your multiple devices (PC, iPhone, etc). You can then record your answers for each account because you WILL forget the answers if they aren't real. I use one called mSecure and it creates highly complex passwords that I could never remember but can copy and paste from any of my devices. There are many other products on the market besides the one I mentioned.
But the point of the questions is to reset your password if you lose your password. Keeping the security questions in a password manager with the password seems to defeat the whole purpose, since losing one would almost certainly mean losing them all. So then you'd be back to my original scenario of forgetting your security questions.
Sorry. If you are unable to figure out how to not lose track of the one password that would give you access to all your passwords and security questions then I am unable to help you. Btw - the hint I set on MSecure is “love anniversary” that is a mind trigger for me that tells me exactly what the password is and would be of no help to anyone else. I’m certain you can come up with something like “stupid neighbor”, “mangy mutt” etc as long as it it triggers an unambiguous response with the correct password.
That isn't the failure mode I would worry about. The scenario I'd worry about is if the password manager was suddenly no longer available or was somehow corrupted. Then you'd have no idea what your password or answers to your security questions were. All it takes for you to be in the situation I describe is for MSecure to somehow fail.
I use keepass, just another password manager, it runs off a thumb drive. i have two copies of the thumb drive. the drives are encrypted, and the keepass db requires a digital key and a password to open. the digital key is on my dropbox (dropbox has recovery options so no risk of losing the key). with this setup i have 0 fear of losing my passwords, and 0 fear of someone getting my thumb drive and having the keys to the castle.

mouses
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by mouses » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:37 am

I have verbal security words for phoning in. Those I just remember.

I have security questions at various places, but I can't remember ever being asked for them except by the USPS. If you lose that with USPS, you can never again get into the account and it will ruin things like package notifications, which seem to be by street address.

Rupert
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Re: what if I forget my security questions?

Post by Rupert » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:48 am

whomever wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:13 am
We write ours on paper and store them in a safe deposit box. We actually have two envelopes; one stays at the bank, and the other comes home as needed.

For us, 'as needed' isn't very often, maybe once or twice a year.
+1. We've reverted to the point that writing them on paper is more secure than just about any other method. Keeping a copy at home (written in code, if you wish -- home burglars are generally not genius code breakers) and keeping a second copy in a safe deposit box is as good a system as any other I've heard of. I don't trust password manager services. Surely they're the number one target -- the holy grail -- of hackers these days. It's only a matter of time . . .

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