Is Mother's Maiden Name PII

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What Is a Mother's Maiden Name and Is It PII?

When it comes to managing and protecting your online identity and personal information, understanding what is considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is an important part of the process. One of the most commonly-used pieces of PII is a mother's maiden name, which is often used as an authentication factor when creating an account. But is a mother's maiden name actually PII?

What Is a Mother's Maiden Name?

A mother's maiden name is the surname that a woman has prior to marriage. It is typically used as a security measure to verify a person's identity when creating an account. It is often used as a form of authentication for financial institutions, online accounts, and other sensitive information.

Is a Mother's Maiden Name PII?

The short answer is yes, a mother's maiden name is considered PII. PII is any information that can be used to identify a specific individual, and a mother's maiden name is a unique identifier that cannot be easily changed. Therefore, it is important to protect this data and limit the number of places it is stored.

How Can We Protect Our Mother's Maiden Names?

The best way to protect your mother's maiden name is to limit the number of places it is stored. It should never be shared online in any form, as this can increase the risk of identity theft. Additionally, it is important to use different passwords for each account and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. This will help to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts.

Conclusion

Understanding what is considered PII is an important part of protecting your online identity and personal information. A mother's maiden name is a unique identifier that is considered PII, so it is important to protect this data and limit the number of places it is stored. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure your data is secure and reduce the risk of identity theft.

References

Gill, A. (2020, October 9). What is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)?. The Balance Small Business. https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-personally-identifiable-information-pii-4157338

Tynan, D. (2020, May 26). What is a Mother's Maiden Name?. Investopedia.

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