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09 February, 2009

Securing us from ourselves

Have you even seen "I, Robot"? The Will Smith movie set in the future where everyone has a robot and surprise! things get screwed up. Totally Sci-fi fantasy, right? Well, I think we are actually closer to the future that it might seem. I'm not talking about Robots here (unfortunately) as the technology just still isn't there (unless Japan is secretly hiding this fact from us), but if you watch the movie, (SPOILER!!!!!) the role of "protectors of humans" that the robots take on, result in the ultimate consequence. Protecting humans from themselves as we aren't taking care of ourselves and it is this consequence that we are inching towards. Beginning with Internet and banking security.

The number of logins and passwords now needed in the average person's life, online, is just growing out of control. I swear I'm buying a frigging retina scanner or thumbprint reader because I'm just fed up with it. Because there are so many and each have different requirements I can never use the same password or login, or have to change my password every tenth new moon and so I've been locked out of bank accounts for days "for my own security". I've had to call and answer a thousand security questions, give my address, age, and shoe size and waste time just to reset my password. Now, I don't want anyone getting at my money (hey, I need that $12 for Hussan's) but I do want to have access to it myself. It's my money afterall. There is one bank right now that they are insisting I walk into the branch in person just to verify it's me. Hang on, bank, all those times I called you and logged on online you were happy knowing that I was umm me but now I have to walk in? What happened?

I can understand banks having the intensive security. Especially as they will have to pay for it if someone does start spending your money. They could at least only lock down the account when something unusual happens, say, all my money is transferred out to a strange account. However, I can't understand when I am asked a barrage of security questions to order a Papa John's or gourmet popcorn, or mail order bride. These sites don't even have access to my credit card details and so the worse that can happen is someone knows I enjoy caramel and chocolate and plenty of cheese on my deep pans.

The system is beginning to secure us from ourselves and it won't be long before you'll have to give DNA samples even down at Kroger. Can't have anyone else getting those Kroger rewards points, can we?


Evil Twin's Wife said...

You are so right on about this. I have one site that routinely "doesn't recognize [my] computer" and asks a barrage of security questions every time. Thing is, I don't remember half of my initial answers.... I think I'll close that account today in fact.

Hoyt said...

I appreciate the security to a degree, especially after a year or so ago when our bank contacted us after some jerk charged over $400 to our credit card for some stinky perfume. Based on our credit spending trend, the bank predicted the purchase was not ours and it removed the charge.

Of course, the downside is that if I want to buy my wife some expensive stinky perfume for Valentine's Day this year, she's gonna know it. 8)

All Click said...

ETW: I get the same problem. It says it doesn't recognize my computer and then I have to wait for a security email or text message and by that time i'm already annoyed.

Hoyt: That's great when that happens! I have had the bank call me before to say there have been a couple of big charges. Unfortunately, it was me and they wouldn't give me the money back :-p

Just buy the perfume and say "Oh, it must be that thief again!" ;-)

RedZeppelin said...

LastPass. Learn it. Love it. Live it.