We’ll table this discussion for now. Something’s amiss.


More below!


Security Issues

I was just shutting my computer down for the night — it was midnight — EXACTLY midnight — when my email suddenly went bleep. Even though I was extremely tired and ready for bed, I made the mistake of checking it.

It was Verizon, sending me my latest cellphone bill. They always do this at midnight, usually on the 13th, so they’ll get first crack at my money before any other bills come in.

Now, as a habit, when I get a bill that I can pay online, I pay it immediately. This is not a virtue; this is laziness. I hate trying to find bill notices later, and it’s not like it’s a lot of work. Verizon would love for me to sign up for AutoPay, but I don’t trust them to have unfettered access to my checking account. They have not earned my trust. There have been… incidents.

However, since they are the only cellular provider that seems to function well in my area, I reluctantly continue with their service.

Anyway, tired though I was, I logged onto the Verizon site to pay the bill. I cursed as I did so, because they have instituted a new policy of turning off the password-remember option for their site, so I have to remember my  Verizon password once a month, which of course is extra-hard when you are half-asleep.

But would they let me pay the bill? No. Before I could do anything, I was presented with a window announcing even MORE security measures they had implemented. I was supposed to choose a Security Image and choose and answer a Security Question and register my computer. Oh, and way off in the upper right hand corner, there was a small announcement that they would be changing their Privacy Policy so other people could send me Relevant Mobile Advertising. I’m not sure how they plan to do this, but knowing Verizon, I will assume via text messaging. At midnight.

Oh, I raged extreme. I started off by clicking a Customer Feedback window and stuffing in as many swear words as would fit. Then, because they would not let me pay my bill until I had done so, I chose the rudest image I could find and answered my Security Question with a string of cuss words that I knew I would remember. Then I went and found the Updated Privacy Policy and opted out of the upcoming Program Enhancement (if you have Verizon, I suggest you do the same.)

And then I seethingly paid my bill. Now what infuriates me about all this is that it is so useless. No one logging in through my account can possibly access my credit card number. The worst they could do is sign me up for some services I don’t want, and hell, Verizon does that to me already. (See above.) About the only other thing an interloper on my account could do is pay my bill for me using their OWN credit card, and if they want to do that, it is fine with me.

This is just CYA “security theater” tactics. Target Stores got hacked, but the interlopers did not bring down a major chain by simply going in through a customer account. They hacked the main server. Accounts where I actually have important stuff — such as my bank — just use simple two-factor authentication. Amazon still lets me one-click. It’s these stupid, self-important services such as Verizon and my insurance company that institute annoying levels of useless “security,” I suspect mainly so people will give up in frustration and not pay their bills on time and be charged Late Fees.

Or not notice that the Privacy Policy Has Changed.

— Bob out