Create good security questions and answers

In addition to creating a strong Unity account password, you can help protect yourself and the Pack from cybercriminal activity by creating effective security questions and answers (Q&As). 

These security Q&As — sometimes referred to as User Identification and Authentication (UIA) questions — are used to verify your identity when you:

  • Contact the NC State Help Desk via phone.
  • Reset your password.
  • Request a one-time 2FA bypass code for Duo and Google-protected services.

If you haven’t edited your security Q&As recently, take a few minutes to make sure they meet the criteria outlined in the Security Questions and Answers Guidelines and follow these tips:

  • Make sure you have secure questions and answers: If your friends, family, or anyone else can guess or research your answers, you need to change the questions. For example, avoid questions about your birthday, elementary school, first car, or mom’s maiden name. And if the answer is anywhere on social media, it’s not a secure answer.
    • If the question is about the street you grew up on, and the truth is Hillsborough Street, pick an obscure street name instead.
    • Likewise, if the question is about your mother’s maiden name, choose an unrelated answer or a “hint” that might remind you of your mother’s maiden name.
  • Protect your privacy: At times, the NC State Help Desk may require you to provide answers to your security questions over the phone, so choose questions and answers that won’t invade your privacy or create any embarrassment for you. Avoid private information such as your Social Security number or any financial account data.
  • Use a password manager: You can use a password manager such as the university’s enterprise LastPass software to generate a random answer or to store your own answers in a notes section. Generating random answers is the most secure approach. With a password manager, you won’t have to worry about remembering your answers. Note: If you purchase a LastPass Enterprise user license at NC State, you are entitled to a free, personal premium account
  • If your university account is ever compromised: Should your Unity account become compromised, you will be required to change your Unity password. Check your security Q&As to make sure no one else has changed them and make them as secure as possible.