A specific security question will not work for all people so offer questions in a variety of categories. There are several types or categories of security questions as shown below.

IMPORTANT: Most of the questions below are poor or fair questions and not recommended for use. They are shown below only as an example of type, not necessarily an example of quality. For a list of “good” questions, see the Full List on the Examples page.


  • What was your childhood nickname?
  • What is the name of your favorite childhood friend?


  • In what city or town did your mother and father meet?
  • What is the middle name of your oldest child?


  • What is your favorite team?
  • What is your favorite movie?

Favorites Historical

  • What was your favorite sport in high school?
  • What was your favorite food as a child?


  • What is the first name of the boy or girl that you first kissed?
  • What was the make and model of your first car?

Personal Characteristics

  • What was the name of the hospital where you were born?
  • Who is your childhood sports hero?


  • What school did you attend for sixth grade?
  • What was the last name of your third grade teacher?


  • In what town was your first job?
  • What was the name of the company where you had your first job?

Few if Any Good Security Questions

The term “security questions” is a misnomer. Security questions are not secure, but instead create a potential hole or breach in security by providing ways for users to gain unauthorized access. People share considerable personal information on social networking sites, mobile tools, and blogs making it increasingly easier to find information on people. Hopefully, security experts will create better ways of authentication and forgotten passwords. Until then security questions will likely prevail.

Also, there are few if any “good” security questions; most are fair or bad. A good question would rate high on all five criteria with a total of 13 or 14 (5 criteria on a scale of 1-3). There’s not one question in my list that rated a total of 15. The reality is, few questions qualify as “good” and  even the best security questions are not good enough to screen out all attacks. There is a trade-off; self-service vs. security.

A Little Security/Login Humor

Some comics below about logins and security questions.

Bizarro Comics

The Match