I have read many Q&As here on IT Security about password hashing and salting.
I am building a simple registration form for our community website which will be used by our members to create their accounts. I am seriously debating the idea of asking users a security question that will require a single word answer and then using the answer as a salt. Or maybe even answers with two or more words/numbers etc.
Of course, I will need to devise something with very little likelihood of repetition - say - the user's mother's maiden name. The likelihood of the exact same name in our 2000 strong community is extremely little. And the likelihood of a chosen password and the answer to the security question being identical is even more remote. However, such a question will necessarily have at least one space in the answer. Another idea is asking for the mother's date of birth and stripping the date separators.
Question 1: Is this a decent enough salting?
Question 2: Can a salt have a space? Or a slash? Or a hyphen?
Question 3: In case spaces (or slashes and hyphens) are not allowed in Salts, is it OK to perform some sort of a space (or slashes and hyphens)stripping on the input before the input is used as a salt?
Question 4: Are there any glaring security loop-holes this can open?