You have one of those annoying banking sites that ask dumb ass questions just so you can log on? I dropped all my cookies on my machine a couple of days ago because I've had some issues with a variety of sites recently and so I lost a ton of my login cookies with various financial instutions.
So today I went to my PayTrust billing service site figured out that I don't have the required cookie and starts putting me to the test:
- What was the name of your first girlfriend?
- What is the middle name of your father?
- What state or province where you born in?
- What is your Zodiac sign?
Apparently I flunked 'cause after several iterations I couldn't log in.
The sad part is I honestly couldn't tell you the first too. <g> The third one doesn't apply since I was born in Germany. And the last - well I'm an idiot and don't know how to spell Sagittarius. Worse I don't even remember ever answering these questions ever before.
So after a bunch of back and forth I finally got a couple of questions in tandem that I could answer and it actually let me enter my password. Then I found out - darn my account got locked and I have to call the mothership.
This isn't the only bank that's been giving me this kind of crap. My Bank of Hawaii account also has a bunch of questions along the same line and I've gone through a few rotations there as well and have not been able to connect. My ING Direct online bank account too - same thing although their system is a little bit more helpful giving multiple choice options of several questions at once, which is a little easier to deal with.
If you're going to ask me questions, ask something concrete or let me pick one or two things that I can actually remember. Instead it seems there were like 10 different questions that I had to fight through and I vaguely remember thinking at the time this is going to be trouble once I have to answer for them. And indeed it is. It's a huge time sink.
A lot of these questions are kind of personal and culturally incorrect. Asking for a state or province is obviously not going to work for me being from Germany. And while most people probably know how to spell their Zodiac sign, isn't it kind of presumptious to assume EVERYBODY knows what a Zodiac sign is in the first place? Your first girlfiend??? How do you rate that? That first kiss at age 8 or the first time in the back of the car? What if you're abstaining 'til married, never had one, or better yet are gay? Ambiguous questions are the wrong thing to ask for a security question.
In the end it took me 20 minutes on the phone (waiting mostly) with tech support to get this mess straightened out and I can look forward to the same thing next time. Ironically the PayTrust guy on the phone asked for nothing more than my name and social security number and login name. So per voice with the power to really compromise my account there's way less security than with the marginal possibility of hacking a username and password and twenty questions? Go figure...
I understand the need for security, but this kind of stuff really pisses me off because it's such a time sink. It's bad enough we have to deal with custom log on schemes for every different institution. Why can't banks use a common logon service like OpenID or Passport to facilitate the process rather than going through this kind of customer hostile crap. This may have seemed cute 10 years ago as a security measure but today it just feels just like using the wrong tools to solve password loss.
So, you got any fun password questions you've run into to share?
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