JetBlue’s baffling account security quesitons

This is a bit random. I was creating an account on the JetBlue website. They prompt for four security questions. That’s already excessive, but then they’ve got very few viable choices for me, personally. Yes, I know I can make stuff up, but answers to these type of questions aren’t things I should have to write down. Yes, I know I can make up some system so that I remember what the answers are, but…anyway…first-world problem…but this isn’t so much of a gripe as just an expression of bemusement.

  • What is the name of your favorite pet? Whoever came up with this has never had several pets. For first pet, I always put this rabbit we cruelly kept in the basement for a few months when I was 6 or 7 years old. But favorite pet? That’s a cruel question.
  • What is your preferred musical genre? How many people have one preferred music genre, with an assigned label that they would remember to-the-letter? I’m never going to remember “adult contemporary circa 1992”.
  • What is the street number of the house you grew up on? 14. But all responses must have at least three characters. 0-for-3, so far. Need to fill in 4 answers.
  • What time of the day were you born? Gosh, my memory isn’t what it used to be. How many people would know a time that they would be able to enter and recall verbatim? 0-for-4.
  • What is the name of your favorite childhood friend? I don’t know. Manischewitz. I kid. 0-for-5
  • What’s your favorite sport to watch Regardless of your level of interest in sports, how many people can reliably recall what they would have put as a security answer? With all of these questions, I would say that if one can reliably recall an definitive answer 90% of the time, it’s a horrible security question. But I don’t anything about best practices here. I just can’t image that a customer failing to find ANY of the first six security questions easy to answer is what JetBlue or any business wants.
  • What’s the name of the company of your first job?Yay, a question with an answer I can reliably recall, well, assuming I am going with my first post-undergrad job as opposed to my first job when I was 13. So, really, another question that a lot of people might have trouble answering. But I’m 1-for-7 now.
  • What year did you graduate from high school? Yes. Standard stuff there. I’d say it fits that 90% threshold. 2-for-8. I only need 2 for answers to create an account!
  • What is the name of your oldest sibling? Yes. Easy for me. 3-for-9. But how many people have an older sibling? “80 percent of Americans have at least one brother or sister’ according to numerous internet sources. So this question doesn’t meet the 90% threshold, because the percentage of of people without an older sibling is probably somewhere between 40 and 60%.
  • What is the middle name of your oldest child?Does me no good, nor for the quarter of American adults who don’t have children.
  • What was your childhood nickname?Seriously, how many people had one that they could pick? I don’t. I’m 3-for-11 with one question left
  • What is your spouse’s mother’s maiden name?Well, &#($. That leaves me and HALF of all Americans out.

JetBlue, these questions are lousy. Who came up with this? Shame on them for having a normal life, with a spouse and kids, a childhood friend, and a definitive favorite genre of music.

Contrast: Delta

I needed to change my password.

Security Question 1: What was the name of the first school you attended?
Security Question 2: What is your father’s middle name?

Two questions. Quick recall of answers. Done.

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