Hilary Henkin <propper@...>
With the advent of municipalities publishing their vital records online
(see my recent referral to the California Birth and Death Indexes), and the
ease with which private companies can purchase lists of our "private"
information, I think the honest ultimate solution will be for those
institutions to use another validator. I have already seen this begin to
happen - they ask me for an answer of my own choosing, and then ask me
which question they should ask. Both are logged in their files.
Until then, our only option is to give them a word other than our mother's
maiden name, when we initially set up the account, etc. I have
inadvertently done this my entire life - according to the new Calif. Index,
the "maiden name" I've been using is not the one on my birth
certificate.... There is nothing to prevent us >from using our
grandmother's maiden name, or our second cousin's married name <g>, or as
another poster sugggested, a made-up word.
And individually, since the criminals also require a SSN to activate their
criminal plots, we can be more protective about our SSN than we currently
may be, not using it for drivers' license numbers, etc.
Government will always lag behind the criminals in protective legislation,
so we must take as much individual responsibility as we have available,
without creating fortresses. (And I'll get off my soapbox now <g>.)