I got forced to setup similar things when I lost my iPad password. My problem was they only had a very limited set of questions and many of them I had no answer, or didn't know the answer... I've only ever owned one car, I didn't have a favourite or hated teacher, etc.
Apple iTunes users are peeved at being made to answer a three-part questionnaire about their cars and where they had their first kiss as part of a compulsory security regime. The new measures sparked outcry on the support forums with punters deriding the interrogation as easy to guess and inappropriate. Fanbois are required to …
They don't say that.
In fact, some services have a contractual condition that you must provide true information.
Another service I've used wants to know the name of my favourite actor AND wants me to log in regularly and change the answer. What, so now I'm obliged to appreciate culture whimsically? Presumably they want me to be their loyal customer, but I can't be loyal to Ashton Kutcher? (...For example.) Also, presumably I have to keep the answers secret... the love that dare not speak its name... What if I secretly become a stalker (of whichever favourite actor we're talking about), and then, through no fault of my own, I get caught? Maybe I should just put down Glenn Beck no one will guess that.
@ Graham Marsden
Not really a good question, since it's a yes-no answer, giving crooks a 50% chance of getting it. Oh wait, scratch that: you're pretty guaranteed to get it right by simply answering "no", since given Apple's track record of deliberately bricking jailbroken devices, no fanboi would actually admit to having jailbroken one to Apple, even if they have.
Least favourite job
For plenty of people that question is a complete non starter, it implies that they have had at least 2 jobs ... what about the lazy arses who have never bothered to work ? Ditto cars - unless you count the ones that they have nicked, or even know who their father is.
I suppose that they do need to provide a list of questions, most people would not be able to come up with things themselves - although it would be nice for those who are more able.
Verify or die
The company I work for made us answer similar questions to verify our identities over the phone. They wanted the answers to six questions but we had to choose from their examples, a list they had to increase when people found it hard to pick good ones.
Alas there was no validation on the input form they used to collect the answers, so you could have the same question multiple times (a facility I used when I could only think of answers to five questions). You could also have a different answer to the same question so it will be interesting to see if anyone attempted that - I was sorely tempted.
That said I think a previous commentard said it best when they said you don't have to give "correct" answers. My first car was actually the space shuttle and my favourite music is the sound of a thousand tortured souls.
No I don't work for Microsoft.
I always put my DOB as 20 July 1969 (the day of the Moon landing). It's only a few years+months after my actual birth date, so it doesn't arouse suspicion with regard to my physical age, and Dad getting me out of bed to watch Armstrong give his famous speech on the telly, is my earliest childhood memory - hence the day I was "born" to my own awareness.
Only my bank and certain government agencies have my real DOB (which given said agencies' propensity for USB sticks, laptops and trains probably means world+dog have it by now anyway!)
re making stuff up
well thats a genius idea isn't it.. because obviously in 6 months when asked for the answers again, I'm obviously going to know the same made up answers.
Got the same questions last week, only the first set was usable , the second set, I think I could answer, though it depends on the mood which childhood friend I'd pick ( I moved and thats the only question I think has a memorable answer) and the 3rd , that was hopeless.
Re: re making stuff up
Making stuff up is the only safe way to do it - if you give a real answer, then someone is going to be able to guess it or work it out.
I've been doing it for years. By now, I have a set of answers for most of these types of questions, the answers are completely unrelated to my life, but I know them well. It's no harder than having to remember a dozen different passwords or differing complexity here at work. And at least these types of questions don't have to be changed every 30 days.
Re: re making stuff up
"It's no harder than having to remember a dozen different passwords or differing complexity here at work."
I've got a pretty good memory for facts, but I struggle to remember two passwords because they have to be made-up stuff with "at least one digit and one capital letter". If I start making up answers to security questions as well I'll start doubting my own identity pretty soon.
Re: I faced these questions last week
And don't forget Apple's new password which requires upper and lower case letters as well as numbers. I'm not sure how many times I've changed that in the last few weeks after wholly forgetting the last one.
Surely any true Apple fan will answer 'Who was your best childhood friend' with 'Steve Jobs'?
Had one of these sets of security questions a few years ago on some site ... asked me where I went on my first holiday - however "Ireland" was rejected as not being a valid answer!
Meanwhile Olympic ticketing site had "name of best friend" as backup question to get password reset. When I forgot what combination of capitalization/numeric/symbols I'd had to use in my password I had to go through the "forbot your password" routine and got asked the "name of best friend" ... my wife was not impressed that it took me a couple of wrong answers before I realized that I should be putting her name in!
The older I get the less sympathy I have for people who continue to use products that aren't suited to them. Don't like iTunes or Facebook? Well, stop using them because it's the only way companies learn.
Usability is rarely tested, we adapt to how the device works instead. I'm a sucker for it too but it's amazing how easy it is to stop using something if you shorten your fuse and decide to just stop using them - I just adapt like I did before.
"I literally cannot choose from the 2nd set of questions, none of them apply"
Fascinating. For none of the second set of questions to apply, you would have to have had no friends as a child and never have had a job or gone to school. While I can see someone buying into Apple because they have no mates and are desperately seeking approval, surely it's unlikely that the others don't apply?