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Your Life Held to Ransom
... in a password

 11:43 am on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

(Prompted by my 3rd online banking suspension)

There is a Governmental and big business conspiracy to make our lives so overly complicated with varying password systems, that we'll eventually cave-in to ID cards, I'm convinced.

Have you ever thought how much of our lives require, not only a password, but the back-up info to support it in case you forget?... In fact, you don't even need to forget, some services will still demand you declare that info to gain access to your account...

... even if it's just to ask a bleeding question!

You try to keep everything seperate with your own little system so there's no overlap, but then they demand your passwords MUST contain a minimum of 6, and a maximum of 10 characters and MUST also contain a minimum of 3 numbers and be mixed case - Oh, bang goes my hitherto perfectly working system then.

On top of that, they may also ask for the 3rd letter of the password "hint" you nominated or other such random extra piece of info you had no choice in handing over (but certainly wouldn't of had you the choice)... I mean, I wasn't even born when my mum had her maiden name!

'I only contact you once every 18 mths FFS, HTF do I know what my password "hint" is?... never mind the 6th character'

So what are we supposed to do? What is the only real alternative left if we don't want to be locked out of life?

... We have to do the one thing they INSIST we're not allowed to do (if you ever want to make an insurance claim that is), write the bleeders down or have some app remember them (with another password to access that!) which itself runs the risk of being targetted by hackers!

It's going too far and I suspect there's more behind it depending on who you're dealing with - My principal suspicions are they want to get REALLY close and personal (They now know personal stuff you'd have to think twice about telling your best mate!) and also a longer-term agenda of putting our lives onto one ("simple") ID system.

So now, I'm locked out of me online bank A/c having failed on the 3rd attempt to answer a random question. I now have to survive another onslaught of tricky questions over the fone to tell them.

Then I'll have to think up yet another "foolproof" password system and wait god knows how long to receive 2 seperate bits of paper just to gain acces to my money online again.

I am #*$!in livid and cannot pay a bill 'cos of this.

Thank you



 12:24 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I know you're ticked, but that is a funny post - funny because I can relate. :)


 2:11 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can relate, too. I had a "moment" with my Halifax account the other week, where it repeatedly asked me one of the "questions", and for some reason I was giving it the answer to a different one. So, after 3 attempts, it's onto the phone...

"Mother's maiden name..." easy
"Pet's name..." easy
"How much money is in your account..."

...ah... How would I know that without logging in? That's what I was trying to find out! Grr.

I can see a need for a single secure form of ID, actually. Something equivalent to a passport or driving license, but with an electronic signature that I can use online and in transactions. But the upcoming ID card scheme is a load of junk... kinda hard to do an Iris scan over the phone, isn't it?


 3:16 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use teh Halifax to, their phone banking is a royal pain in the boondocks - all those questions.


 4:00 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had the following experience with a UK bank a few months ago on the phone...

"Hi, I'd like to check what direct debits I have on my account"

"Certainly Sir, I just need to run through some security questions, can I have your mothers maiden name?"


"Do you have any direct debits on your account?"

"Well, duh!"


 4:26 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

My current employer (a government ministry) has a huge number of different systems, all with differering policies on password length and complexity. For one system I have access with a password as well as a fingerprint reader on my desk. The best way or remembering passwords? Write them down on a piece of paper kept close by. ;) (Unless they slice my finger off, a thief won't get access anyway!)

If you prefer a more high-tech solution, try the excellent "KeePass" program, which is a totally free (open-source) password safe which runs on Windows:



 6:27 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is a Governmental and big business conspiracy to make our lives so overly complicated with varying password systems, that we'll eventually cave-in to ID cards, I'm convinced

Yeah that's pretty annoying. :-) But just imagine how bad it would be if they didn't do all that. Enough people break into things as it is.


 8:23 pm on Oct 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

The best way or remembering passwords? Write them down on a piece of paper kept close by.

About a year ago I actually decided to keep a book with all the less important passwords in. It's not kept "close by", and is the only back up I trust.

Should I lose the book, however...

All systems are flawed. I am, however, in favour of ID cards and biometrics.



 12:33 am on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another theory:

After I (eventually) negotiated both the 5-layered multi-option telephone operator service and extensive anal interogation to sort it out, I gets, 'Oh, Mr TheWhippinpost? The computer has just flashed up a screen on your account saying we can give you a 0% interest-free...'.

'No thanks'

Today has prompted me to ponder upon a hot topic in the UK ATM RE: ID cards... Forget identity theft, what about identity loss?

Sarah Atkinson

 3:26 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've been thinking of having one of those little black books just with passwords and stuff in them.

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