An Important Update

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If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blogger Authentication Uses Demographic Details

If you use Google Two-Step Verification, you will have a better chance of being able to recover Blogger account access, if you forget the account name or password.

Alternately, use of 2-Step Verification may prevent account hijackings and blog theft, when you must use a computer that's not yours, or when you travel - as long as you carry your authentication device / tokens with you.

As an alternative or complement to 2-Step Verification, Blogger recognises us using demographic details. People who consistently use the same browser, on the same computer, in the same location, and from the same Internet service, are easily recognised, are trusted more - and are less likely to receive secondary challenges.

Demographic detail authentication was first seen by people who travel, when asked to prove identity.

Recently, this policy appears to be used when you need to recover account access, when you login using a different computer, or possibly when you return to a long unattended blog.

Degree of difference, from normal, varies need for authentication.

Any changes in demographic detail, such as using a different browser or computer, a different Internet connection, or in a different location, appears to result in a different level of need for extra authentication.

A routine login would represent a small need for authentication, while an account recovery (caused by forgotten account name or password) would represent a greater need. Using a different browser, on the same computer in the same location, may cause a small need for authentication.

Using ones own computer, in a different location in the same country, would cause a moderate need for authentication; and using a different computer in that country a slightly larger need. And using a coffeeshop computer, in a foreign country like Nigeria or Ukraine, would cause a much larger need.

A different level of need causes different secret detail requests.

Based on the level of need for authentication, Blogger may present a secondary challenge, and request one or more secrets from the supposed blog owner - or possible would be blog thief. Here's where the annoying detail questions - about use of other Google services, and dates first and last used - become relevant.

For people who have had their Blogger account hacked and blogs stolen, or people who fear this fate, demographic detail authentication may be seen as a positive direction for Blogger / Google to take, For people who fear "Big Brother", with the never avoidable cameras and total lack of privacy, an authentication process which tracks each of us, as we login, may be considered a privacy threat.

Privacy threat or security enhancement - demographic verification is here to stay.

Whether a privacy threat, or security enhancement, demographic detail verification appears to be part of Blogger / Google Security - and may enhance or substitute for, Google 2-Step Verification. And that should reduce the threat of stolen blogs.

Dude, hit me with a comment!