Need to reset your password? I need your favorite sea animal first.
Today I needed to reset a credit card password and I was reminded of the ridiculous security question it made me answer...namely because I couldn't remember my answer to it.
Here's what it looks like.
I have a number of thoughts on this, such as "Was this tested in real life?" and "What really is a sea cucumber?"
Mostly though, I think about the number of assumptions they made with this design:
1. Everyone has a favorite sea creature.
I'm probably an edge case here, but I actually am not a big fan of the ocean. I don't even eat seafood.
2. A person's favorite sea animal will remain static over time.
I can tell you right now that as a kid my favorite animal was a giraffe and it has definitely changed a billion times since then. Plus what if I LOVE killer whales but then a news story breaks that Betty White was eaten by one? I may not like killer whales so much anymore. Or you know, my favorite sea animal could change just because humans are fickle and also it's a SEA ANIMAL and I don't typically have stagnant opinions on large taxonomies of creatures.
3. People will choose an array of favorite animals, thus ensuring the security of the answer to the question.
I'm willing to bet money that 80% of the people who fill out this question answer: penguin (because obvi), dolphin (because Lisa Frank/the 90s), manatee (because they're dopey), shark (because ooo look I'm dangerous) or squid (because it's funny).
If someone chooses something else, they either:
A. have a specific sea creature knowledge/obsession
B. spent time googling the difference between a sea lion, sea otter and seal
C. picked something funny off the cuff like "cuttlefish" or "nautilus" but aren't going to remember it in 6 months and need to ask for another question type.
I'm also willing to bet money that anyone who didn't choose one of the "big five" - if you will - has a higher rate of requesting a different question type. Just my hypothesis.
I'm going to just put it out there and say you shouldn't include "favorite sea animal" as a security question, nor should you include "favorite" anything. If you can prove to me that everyone out there has a favorite day in the month of August, then yes, go for it. Otherwise, let's stick with the Saturn S-Series and Acura Integras we can actually remember because they're facts.
I don't want to be such a negative nautilus though, so I'm going to try to end on a positive note. I did learn something from this...like what an Abalone is. (If you were thinking a fish, no, that's Albacore tuna.) It's a large edible sea snail. Gross.
Also, I thought about my other favorite animals in specific categories should the need arise, which I now present for your viewing pleasure.
Favorite Bird: The Spotted Towhee
Favorite Reptile: Two-legged Worm Lizard
Favorite Serengeti Animal: Dik-Dik
Favorite Rainforest Animal: Capybara
Bet you didn't see this post ending with a picture of a the largest living rodent in the world snuggling a cat, did you?