Examples of Security Questions

What makes a good security question? A good security question produces answers that are:

  1. Safe: cannot be guessed or researched
  2. Stable: does not change over time
  3. Memorable: can remember
  4. Simple: is precise, simple, consistent
  5. Many: has many possible answers

Examples of Good, Fair, Poor Questions


What is the first name of the person you first kissed?
What is the last name of the teacher who gave you your first failing grade?


What was the name of your elementary / primary school?
In what city or town does your nearest sibling live?
What time of the day were you born? (hh:mm)


What is your pet’s name?
In what year was your father born?
What is your favorite _____?

Wait! Some GOOD Questions are Still BAD…

Even if a question is good, some people will not use it. Example: name of the place your wedding reception was held – if I haven’t been married I won’t use that question.

Which questions get used? I conducted a survey of which questions people would use. I also rated each question based on the 5 criteria above and provided rationale for each question. The results are included in the Full List of Security Questions.

Full List of Security Questions

Full List Sample: full-list-sample-thumb

The Full List of security questions can help you confidently select the best questions that people will actually use. The Full List includes:

  1. 40+ “good” questions from 200 questions 
  2. survey results (over 350 responses) showing which questions people will actually use (“I might use this question” or “I would NOT use this question”).
  3. ratings of questions based on the 5 criteria (safe, stable, memorable, simple, many).
  4. rationale for ratings and rankings

Get the Full List for $19.50 USD


After PayPall payment, you will immediately have a link to the Google sheet. If you don’t see the link, please contact me.


You can also pay with Bitcoins (19.50 USD) at https://www.coinbase.com/gscoville, but be sure to contact me so I can confirm and send you the Full List.

Why buy the Full List?

  • Save time – you won’t have to hunt the internet for lists or check other registration forms
  • Improve authentication – get the best possible questions that people will actually use
  • Improve security – better questions are more secure and less likely to be compromised – protect your users and your website
  • Reduce support calls – good questions are more memorable and accurate resulting in fewer fails
  • Edit the list and enter your own ratings – download the spreadsheet to edit