Password Protected

Ever had a day when you can’t seem to do anything right? I have run up and down the stairs 18 times so far (yes, I keep count and call it exercise).

online-bill-payI went downstairs to my desk to balance my checkbook and pay bills online while I enjoyed my coffee. It’s my way of making the process more palatable. I pay attention now (I never did before reading Money, a Love Affair by Kate Northrup) as a way of showing the Universe that I am, indeed, a good steward for my money.

I’m not a good steward of passwords though. I had to find my cheat-sheet, and when I did, I realized two things:  1) I didn’t have all of my online accounts listed, and 2) my coffee was going to be cold by the time I finished this.

After twenty minutes of trying to resolve the most pressing account, I broke down, called my broker and spoke to her assistant. My pen ran out of ink just as she gave me a temporary password, and between finding a new pen and trying to hear over the noise in her office, I needed to ask her to repeat herself three times. Didn’t matter…the password didn’t work after all.

If you haven’t lost a password lately, count your blessings! When you do, you must answer a multitude of security questions “which may, or may not, be based on information which you’ve supplied at some time in the past for your credit report.” 

It’s the online equivalent of water-boarding. I couldn’t remember whether an address I lived at more than 25 years ago was Quail Street or Quail Drive and they acted like I was trying to commit fraud. A simpler question was “What was your first car?” Yay, something I know the answer to. I told her that it was a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle. Her response, “No, that’s not correct.” WHAT? Whose life are you looking at?

I told a friend about this, and he said that he’d once been asked his mother’s maiden name. When he answered, they told him he was wrong. Really?

tomcruiseI’m not sure which to be more worried about, my inability to remember everything, or the militia-like state of our password protected accounts. To help myself, I made an exhaustive list of my accounts, my ID numbers, and passwords. Then I put it in a spot that’s easy for me to remember and for any half-assed burglar to find.

The new 11th commandment:  Know Thy Passwords.

Or, at least know where to find them!

XO Donna



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