Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Own Secret Question

Recently, I had to re-establish an online account to pay my telephone bill (don't ask, it is a long story).  As part of that process, I was asked to set up two security questions, although this particular company called them "secret" questions, which I found a bit annoying.  Aside from that, this protective process was not unexpected and I was glad that such a procedure was in place.  Account security is important to me since I have, in the past, been the victim of credit card theft to the tune of $2000 (another long story).  What I didn't expect as part of the process was the inability to select my own "secret" questions.

This particular website asked me to choose from a variety of predetermined queries, most of which were meaningless to me.  The most memorably obnoxious one was, "Where did you attend your first concert?"  Now if I was a teenager, that option might work for me.  However, being over forty, I have attended so many concerts in my life, the first one has really faded into the distant past.  A more memorable question for me would be, "Where were you on 9/11?"  I doubt that one would work for, say, an eleven-year-old because they themselves probably don't remember the day the World Trade Center collapsed.  They certainly would have heard about it and seen video footage of it, but they probably don't have a first-hand recollection of the day.  Simply put, they were just too young.  Conclusion of these examples:  it is impossible to create a set of predetermined security questions that will work for everyone.

Which brings me to the point of this complaint.  Well, it is a plea really.  If you own a website that has a security procedure in place where patrons must establish a "secret" question, please allow them to choose their own.  It will save both of us a lot of headaches.  I won't forget my security information and you won't need to troubleshoot the problem for me when I am shut out of my account because I forgot one of the queries you pre-designed for me.

Thanks for listening.

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