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What makes a good Known Fact?

Last Updated: Feb 28, 2013 05:22PM GMT
This is a question that we get asked a lot. The quality of the facts you should use are dependent on what type of attack you are concerned with. If you're simply trying to stop emails being scanned for personal or sensitive information as they travel around the internet, then even the most basic of facts will provide all the protection that you need.

If you are sending particularly sensitive information that you suspect another party would be willing to expend significant resources to acquire, then the strength of your facts becomes more important.
A strong fact should be:
  • Unique to the recipient
  • Not common knowledge
  • Not easily guessed

Combining facts together greatly increases the strength of the generated password. We recommend between 2 and 4 different facts. You could have a combination of strong, average and weak facts.
A Known Fact can be absolutely anything you can think of, so be inventive

Examples of strong facts are:

  • ​Account Number
  • Policy Number
  • Case Number
  • Registration Number
  • License Number

Examples of average facts are

  • Mother's Maiden Name
  • Date Of Birth
  • Post Code
  • House Number
  • Shared experiences
  • Child's name
  • ​Pet's name

Examples of facts to avoid are:

  • Colours
  • First name
  • Last Name
  • Company name
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