High-security first pet naming guidelines

From the humor site NewsBiscuit, a brilliant set of security guidelines for naming your first pet, so that when your bank uses "what was the name of your first pet," in order to verify your identity, you will be safe.

Banks are now advising parents to think carefully before naming their child’s first pet. For security reasons, the chosen name should have at least eight characters, a capital letter and a digit. It should not be the same as the name of any previous pet, and must never be written down, especially on a collar as that is the first place anyone would look. Ideally, children should consider changing the name of their pet every 12 weeks.

Expectant mothers have also been advised to choose carefully where they give birth. Anywhere that has a place name is best avoided. These are listed on maps, which are freely available on the Internet.

Children warned name of first pet should contain 8 characters and a digit (via JWZ)

(Image: Dave The Goldfish, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from jhartshorn's photostream)


  1. My first pet was named Rabbit Begonia Hop.  

    Good luck hacking my accounts with that info.  I’ve always given non-sequitor answers to those questions.  If you answer them honestly, you’re vulnerable to every ex you’ve ever had.

    1. comment to SmokingHeartDesigns, Remember to rename you dead pet every 12 weeks

  2. Admittedly off topic, but my bind gives me no post on which to write…

    Where are the cats?  Please, can I have just one?  I thought today was CATURDAY.

    I misunderstood some cat presentation frequency protocol or an internal memo didn’t I?

      1. Too drunk and stoned on catnip.  I imagine, being cats, they probably spend a very great deal of time sleeping it off.  It is the 7th.

  3. When I get those type of questions, I like to fill them in with “These are bad security. [thing]”, where [thing] is a string of characters that may or may not be a real word, depending on how I feel at the time. If I’m not given enough space for a decent string of characters after my complaint, I skip the complaint to make room.

    I’ve ran into cases where they wouldn’t allow sentences in response, though. E.G. “What is your favorite food?” Then they only allow one-word answers with no numbers. What? That is NONSENSE fake security. That’s the best time for strings of letters that aren’t actually a word.

    1. Actually better than strings of letters that aren’t a word would be something like jellochillisushihaggis.

      1. Well, when I say strings of non-word letters, I mean something like… Hm… Lemme make one up… Geltheriadodo. Pronounceable non-words.

        1. jellochillisushihaggis is easier to remember, and much much harder to brute force than Geltheriadodo.

          1. Well, yes. Any time you make a string of letters longer, it’s harder to brute force. However, some forms only give you limited space.

          2. @MrSon

            Making a string longer doesn’t always make it harder to brute force. Brute force normally involves dictionaries.

            Also no one except the people in this comment thread have seen you security grumbles, staff at companies don’t peruse MD5 hashes of security questions. However you might need to give them the answer over the phone some time, at which point you’ll probably look a little silly.

          3. @NathanHornbyEh, I don’t see it ever becoming a major concern. The places I’m likely to forget my password and need a backup way of signing in are places I don’t visit much anyway, like forums I only read once in a while. In which case it’s usually easier to just create a second account than  figure out if I picked the “home street” prompt or the “mother’s maiden name” one.And in the unlikely event that I do forget a password to something important and need to answer over the phone… Eh, I’ll look silly. *shrug*

  4. Spaces work well too when allowed. 

    This is great advice, since children don’t have the  concept  that some  Facebook apps  are hell bent on gaining access to their accounts. The porn name generator, drag name generator, or the English Lord title generator and then posting/tweeting it is a prime example. 

  5. “It should not be the same as the name of any previous pet…”
    This seems tautologically true, no?

    1. I’ve known several people who had a series of pets with the same name. I even know a couple who transferred the name to the new baby since the last dog had recently died.

        1. Not really friends. One was a retired (from San Quentin) mob enforcer who lived in the in-law below me and had a string of dogs named Angel stretching back to the 1940s. The other was a surgery resident who rotated through my unit and named his daughter Sophie after they upgraded from their dog Sophie.

          1. Really in reply to PaulR below.  Consider a retired boxer, now selling mini-grills, who named all his children after himself.

          2. Using a dog to hold a name for your kid is a great trick.  It can keep a name that’s traditional in a family from being swiped from siblings and cousins. 

          3. For cellocgw – If you manage to locate a copy of Kemal Atatürk, the Man by E. W. Swanton (foreword by Paul Anka), turn to page 91.  The book is a little hard to find but you can try some of the better used-book sellers.

            He named all of his animals ‘Abdul’.

            /Me, I’m looking for some Venezuelan beaver cheese.  Anyone know where I can find some?

    2. Yes, to tylerkaraszweski’s point, though:  How many first pets did they have?

      1. This advice is made for parents. Children often have siblings. If you keep calling your dog “Bo” then all the siblings will have the same first pet name.

        Of course, if Bo just lives a long time, then all the siblings will have the same first pet name anyway. And if they don’t move they will have the same city name. And they very likely have the same mother’s maiden name. 

        Which all goes to show why this is a pile of crock. Hack one sibling, you’ve hacked them all.

    3. Actually, all my cats where named cat. I broke the pattern only because we got two of them and had to distinguish between them. 

    4.  My grandparents, before they passed on, named a dog “Chip” (or chippie to its friends). They then had 2 more dogs, also called Chip simply because they were getting on a bit and couldn’t be arsed to learn a new name and keep doing that embarrassing old-person thing where you trip over a couple of old names before hitting on the right one.
      At the time I thought it was creepy and wrong, but now I think it was parsimonious and clever. Shit password tho.

  6. How was I to know, back in 1971, that Passw0rd1 wasn’t an excellent name for my pet chinchilla? Little Pazzy was my pride and joy. 

  7. i wanted to use jello, but we have laws about two of the same jammed together in the middle.  i know, seems like a silly law — right?
    i mean if you are going to be a good citizen, you follow the rules, right?

    1.  Maybe it’s because it’s late but I can’t get this to make any sense.

      But I liked it anyway.

  8. Whoever wrote the article must have experienced ADP’s fantastic password policy.

    Among other things, your answer for ‘Childhood nickname’ must be at least six characters long.   Keep that in mind when choosing a nickname, will you?

  9. The federal jobs website has tougher security than my bank.  I swear they think Osama is trying to break in and upload the Resume of Terror.  And if you ever forget your password (with uppers, lowers, digits AND symbols,) you can expect a visit from the Secret Service.

  10. Years ago, one of my credit cards demanded that I create a password for my account in case I wanted to phone them.  When I had to phone them several years later, instead of asking for a password, they demanded my mother’s maiden name.  And then kept telling me that I had it wrong.

    1. This is precisely why I ceased to provide the answer to such questions as “Fuck you”, even though I would eventually get the answer right given time. 

      Pet name ? “Fuck you”
      Mother’s maiden name ? “Fuck you”
      What is your secret security question ? “Fuck you?”
      What is your secret security question answer ? “Fuck you!”

  11. The password which I must give to my cable supplier was devised by my girlfriend. She made it a complex phrase which is both girlie and mentions me by name. It’s not this, but picture having to say “snookie wookums Petey wants a cuddle” to the phone inquisitor when you are angry about a service issue.
    Fiendish !

    1. My password for a previous cell provider was the name of the company followed by a profane, graphic description of sexual activities that I imagined that the company might enjoy. At one time, I had to provide the password over the phone to a tech who was troubleshooting my service. He laughed and assured me that this type of password wasn’t that uncommon.

  12. Great.  We’re getting a kitten tomorrow.  I guess we’ll have to change from the pound-given name to Shamb0l!c S1te S3cur1ty. 

  13. My favorite is when I get an error telling me that my father’s middle name must be at least six characters.

  14. Eff security issues!  You should tell your children the importance of the 1st pet’s name, since it will be the basis for their future pornstar name ;)

    1. For the millionth time, a gay male porn star cannot go by Penny Hilldale.

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