A handful of iTunes users aren't too happy about the security questions being thrown at them to verify their accounts.
Apple recently ramped up stricter security measures for iTunes and iOS users in an attempt to prevent accounts from being abused or compromised. Beyond just entering a password, some users are now being asked to choose three security questions and a backup e-mail address when they try to download content.
But it's the selection of questions themselves that appear to be upsetting some of the Apple faithful, according to The Register.
Users are being asked to choose from a tight list of questions, including:
- "What was the first car you owned?"
- "Who was your first teacher?"
- "Who was your best childhood friend?"
- "In which city were you first kissed?"
Some people chiming in on Apple Support Communities say the answers to certain questions are too easy to figure out or are public knowledge. Others are saying they don't even know the answers to certain questions. A few have suggested that Apple let users choose their own questions. And some are upset that there was no advance warning of this added security measure.
"The questions are not secure, some are public knowledge and some I don't even know the answer to myself," one user wrote, "so I would have to fake an answer, which then I won't remember."
Another person complained that "someone certainly didn't put much thought into creating the questions or ability for users to be able to find a question they really could answer."
And a third apparently young user said that "these questions are ridiculous, and impossible for me to answer. I haven't had a job, a car, or my first kiss yet, making it impossible for me to answer three of the five questions. Now I can't download anything from iTunes."
The security questions appear to be directed at users who may have raised a red flag for one reason or another. Picking the questions themselves is a one-time task. But after you've chosen your three questions and answers, you may at some point have to remember and enter the answers to again verify your account.
I recently received this added security and did have a difficult time choosing the security questions. Some of them I couldn't answer, and others struck me as odd or too easy for someone else to guess.
Apple certainly can't be faulted for wanting to ratchet up security. The accounts of iTunes users have increasingly been compromised and victimized by phishing attacks.
Apple has little choice but to step in and make things tougher for the bad guys, even if it inconveniences some of its users.
But perhaps a better choice of questions would make the medicine go down a little bit easier.