Exposé: Security questions are a Eurocentric ploy

October 17, 2021 — by Selina Chen
Reporter faces the dilemma of inconsistent naming conventions

Ninety-nine percent of online accounts I set up require me to choose and answer security questions in case I forget my password or get logged out of my account. 

Usually, I immediately look for the question “In what city were you born?” because that’s easy to answer: Shanghai.

My dilemma arises when the system requires more than one question, but only offers a limited selection.

What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your father’s middle name? 

Sorry, we don’t have such concepts in Chinese. Plus, it’s disrespectful to write out your parents’ name, though I’ve long been forced to ignore that bit of cultural taboo.

What is the name of your elementary school? 

No thanks, I don’t want to type out “WuDaoKou No. 2 Primary School.” I won’t remember whether I spelled it as the above or “Wu Dao Kou” or “Wudaokou” or used the full transliteration “Wu Dao Kou Er Xiao.”

What is the name of your childhood best friend? 

Same problem: Did I use her full Chinese name “Sun Miao” or nickname “Miao” or English name “Clarisse”?

So really, the security questions are a malicious Eurocentric scheme designed to torture anyone who grew up with another culture.

I implore you, tech companies, please stop tailoring your security questions to American customs and instead make them answerable for all.

Note: Kindly refrain from attempting to hack my accounts with the above answers because, duh, I’m not publishing the real ones.