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Kristen Hansen Brakeman Headshot

What's Your Real Hair Color and Other Nosy Security Questions

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Those website security questions used to be so easy and straightforward like, "What's your mother's maiden name, high school mascot, or favorite pie?"

But now they've gotten strange. Either the website designers are trying hard to foil the hackers or, as I suspect, they're just really, really bored. What else could account for these bizarre actual security questions?

What was your favorite game to play as a child?

Good Lord, who on earth would remember such a thing? And do they mean board game like Dream Date, or like kickball or hide and seek? I need some clarity here.

What was your dream job as a child?

When I was a five I wanted to be a mermaid. I wonder if that counts as an actual job.

What was your favorite place to visit as a child?

Okay, really people, let's think about this for a second -- if I can't remember my password, one I created only a month ago, why do you think I can remember what games I liked to play, or what I thought or felt like back when I was a child, so many eons ago?

What was the name of your first pet?

Sandy. Uh, darn. Now you all know it and now I can't use that.

Where is your great grandmother buried?

My great-grandmother. Seriously? Well, I never met her, and don't even know her first name, so I'm gonna guess I don't know where she's buried either. But I'll take a stab at it -- in a grave?

What is your favorite food?

This is easy: shrimp and pasta. Oh wait, I also like hamburgers...and that Ahi tuna sandwich with avocado from that place on Third. But sometimes I'm in the mood for Sushi, or steak and baked potato with sour cream, or garlic bread with spaghetti. God I'm so hungry now.

What was your hair color as a child?

I don't like what you're implying there, mister.

Where were you when you heard about 9/11?

Ah, come on. Here I was having a perfectly good day, and now I'm thinking about that horrible morning. Way to go guys.

What is the coolest place you've ever visited?

Gosh, that seems really subjective. Is there some hip meter I'm supposed to use? I'll have you know, I've been to lots of hip places because I'm kind of a trendsetter and...wait, oops I didn't have my reading glasses on. Apparently it's "What's the coldest place...?" Still, no idea.

Who spoke at your high school graduation?

The valedictorian. What was her name again...brown hair...over-achiever...went to Berkeley. Nope, don't remember.

What was the license plate of your dad's first car?

Let's see, since my dad bought his first car about a decade before I was born, I'm not sure I remember that. Why stop there? What was the thesis of my dad's sophomore year world history term paper? What was he thinking back on July 18th, 1952? How many hairs did he have on his head?

What is the first name of the boy or girl that you first kissed?

Why, that would be my husband of course. That's the story I'm sticking with.

What is your dream vacation?

Oh this is easy -- Fiji. Wait no, that takes too long to get to. I know, Grand Cayman. Yes I want to go there! Oh, but I've also heard that the Bahamas are quite nice, and then there are a lot of wintery places I want to see. The Alps, Banff, The Himalayas -- how will I ever narrow this down?

What is the name of a college you applied to but didn't attend?

Wow, thanks for bringing up that old wound.

What sports team do you love to see lose?

That's a very negative question. These programmers must be a ton of fun to be around. Really, I don't care who wins or loses as long as they're serving cold beer.

What is the name of your least favorite relative?

What? I can't believe that people have a least favorite relative and even if they did, wouldn't they feel guilty actually typing in their name? Because what if you die and that is the one relative who is able to crack your password codes to access your accounts, and then they see their name listed there as your least favorite relative? That's too much of a risk for me, and my backstabbing cousin Jennifer.

I think these websites now know more about me than my therapist ever did. Makes me want a cold beer...on Fiji...and that Ahi Sandwich from that place on Third.

This post first appeared on http://www.kristenbrakeman.com.