Security Overkill

I’ve laid off on the rants for awhile but trying to log into my CRA (Canada Pension) account drove me over the edge. After repairing the window screen and retrieving my computer from the front lawn, I decided to share my frustrations about today’s online security overkill.

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t been stymied by new security protocols that are supposed to protect our identities and data? I doubt it.

Where do I start? How about passwords? A simple 4-digit number used to suffice. But that was too easy for hackers so we went to six digits and started using letters or words. And for extra safety, when I worked for a living, they made us change our passwords every month. That was easy and fun: Ed1234 went to Ed2345 and so on.

Now that we do all kinds of crap on our electronic devices ‘they’ believe we need additional security. So, even though we now use a 12 digit combination of numbers, letters and symbols, it’s not enough. So why not add in security questions that nobody else would know…even us, after 5 years and a fading memory. My computer saves all my passwords but I need my original Microsoft password to see what a particular password is.

And who doesn’t love the pictures where you have to pick the little squares that contain the same symbol or animal or whatever? Oh, and don’t forget to check the box that says you’re a real person and try to decipher the twisted letters or numbers they give you.

I laughed out loud when Cathryn tried to do some phone banking for her mother because they told her online to phone in. When she called they said to go online. But after punching in her doubly-protected secret codes and passwords and being transferred three times she reached a live person. They wanted to know the balance or last transaction of the account. That’s where I lost it – we can’t get into the account you moron, that’s why we’re calling!

Today, my breaking point came when I tried to log into my CRA account. I set it up about 5 years ago to collect my CPP. And now I’m creeping up on that next age when I get more of my own money back from our government. So just sign back in, right? LOL! Seems I couldn’t recall the correct sign in or password or one of the questions I don’t remember answering in the first place. 5 tries and you’re locked out.

I forgot to say that this started last week and they sent me a new secret code the old fashioned way-by mail, because they didn’t know who I really was. So today I tried to log in with the new code – 5 times. Yep, locked out again. There were only 3 lines to fill out – one of them was wrong according to them but they don’t tell you which.

No problem. I still have the forms they sent me in the mail, so if I can find an envelope and stamp somewhere, I’ll mail it back to them. The scary thing is that I consider myself to have half a brain and I’m fairly computer literate. What will they come up with next to make our lives easier? Now I have to go and ice my back, I think I wrenched it tossing the computer out the window.