it’s that easy!

A while ago in an overzealous mood I opened an account with one major financial institution. After doing some basic transactions and with some amount in there, I did what comes very naturally to me. I forgot the user ID and password. This is only because I got all ambitious and deviated from my usual set o passwords.

I tried a bit, and then gave up, thought ah well, it will come back to me and I went about my business. This was in March 07.

This morning I saw the institution’s ad in Fortune and realized “oops, oh darn that a/c – let me go check and see what it’s been doing.” So I come to work, try various logins and realize that but of course my memory isn’t suddenly gonna get perfect after all these days. So I call Customer Service. After a few tries talking to a robotic voice, I finally managed to get a human to talk to.

He asked me for:

Social
Name
Address
DOB

Done. I was in. Just like that. Tada.

Now if I weren’t such a nice sweet straight-as-an-arrow simpleton and were actually quite simply devious, imagine what all I could really do. :twisted:

More importantly, think how much leverage your HR has over you, or your doc’s office. Hmm.. All the more reasons to be nice to them eh?

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25 thoughts on “it’s that easy!

  1. I am always sweet towards HR and doc’s offices. As they are always manned by people of the fairer sex. It is natural to me as my second nature is to forget logins and passwords. I guess it is called surviving the digital jungle :)

  2. I use pretty much the same login and password for everything I use too. But since I dont have any money of my own to put in an account yet, I will use this post as a cautionary tale for all my future endeavors (much like all your other posts hehehehe).

  3. Rads,

    You are churning posts so fast, I am not able to keep up. I cant believe I am saying this too :–)

    Didnt they ask you for a secret question? ;–)
    Not only doctors and nurses, but the IT folks who have access to all the data ;–) but of course they are sworn to respect privacy.

  4. sk – oh, alright, no more than 2 posts a week. Ok, will make it 3. Better? ;)

    tell me about data – A certain profession all over better be careful with me! :twisted:

    Baph: Now that this is public knowledge, imagine if 1 gets hacked :P

    Pilgrim: You forget too? Hmm.. how do you manage? Pls don’t tell me you write it all down and then pwd-protect that!

  5. From a baddie’s perspective, name and address is to get; and then they go trawling for the social and DOB. All the more reason to invest in that $100 shredder from Staples, right?

    Btw, did you know that you can get 1 free credit report a year?

    BPSK

  6. bpsk:

    “Btw, did you know that you can get 1 free credit report a year?”

    make that three.

    rads:

    yahoo security is stronger than any bank. once you forget your password, if you fail to remember your (fictitious) date of birth, that account is history (as far as you are concerned). of course, you can be smart and use your real date of birth on yahoo ;-).

    – s.b.

  7. Rads… Yup its always better to be nice with them. Particulary HR gang, every secret of us is jst another news in that gang.

    Personally for me.. I hv an love towards passwords & numbers…. So I almost type it correctly irrespective of the long gap… Thanks to the creator for it.

    One of my frnd has got real problem with rem passwords…. so these days he types all his username and password n a word doc and sets password for it. Yup its risky..but not bad.

  8. i usually have a string and change it orders to generate a set of passwords which i use it for each account … that way… is safe as well as easy to remember…and i keep changing pwds often..

    btw.. i hate HR dept… though my roomie is a HR in my company…cant find a sluggish impotent dept than them….

    if ppl have to get bad with u.. they can get info abt u very easily….need not always be ur HR… even a guy following ur blogs/forums or orkut can do it…easily

  9. Forgetting passwords…talk to me about that! I need to change my password at work every now and then and just when I get used to the password, its time for the new one! Duh !

  10. I use a software called “Robotic Software” to save all my passwords :P Dull brain me. It auto fills everything for me (including those boring forms).

    By the way, I totally dislike the way Chase has recently started “securitizing” our online account- by emailing/calling/text messaging our Activation Code. I always always use the same computer to check my credit card account, but the Chase system doesn’t recognize my computer and I end up with the Activation Code routine, which is so damn irritating.

  11. Ruhi – lol@Chase. Time for a change, or maybe there’s a way to beat the system. No cookies allowed?

    OK – yes, I had to change mine yesterday, and I can’t reuse any of my old ones. :|

    Dushti – Join the club :D

    Giri – Yep, that’s always on my mind. The profile I create for myself with all that I rant here.

    Cm-Chap – Lucky you! I had a fantastic memory up until the munchkin was born. Sadly, it’s been downhill ever since.

    Pilgrim – Hehe, yes it does. :)

    Sb – oh yes, lost my nice yahoo id that way. Coz I always lie when I have to give my birthyear ;)

    BPSK – yes, we do. Husband’s a security freak. It’s the things I go doing all by myself is what lands me in trouble. :|

    Leo – Been a while! Glad to see you back :)

  12. @s.b. – I think you mean that you can get one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus?

    Also, totally agree on what you said about Yahoo security. I know a friend whose Yahoo account was hacked and the password changed. Yahoo would not allow her access even after she proved that the account was hers.

    BPSK

  13. pilgrim: Age is just a number! ;)

    bpsk: Sounds like how I lost mine.

    tdna: I wonder why a young deep-throated customer service guy would want to know my age? It’s not like I sound sexy or young or flirty or interesting.
    *confused

  14. bpsk:

    yes, one per agency – and some states apparently allow two (i believe georgia is one of them) free, though i am unaware of specifics.

    – s.b.

  15. Bala – Yes, I have. No more adventures all by myself. :)

    baliga – hehe, all or nothing rule eh? :P

    Pilgrim – If you did’nt know already, women count birtdhays up until 30 and then we stop. :P

  16. Jee…

    I have 10 email ids and 10 passwords. I search for my glasses when it is right above my nose. I cannot place my car in the parking lot after I am done shopping.
    Imagine my plight every day.

    I hate passwords so much that instead of typing YTT&$%^##%@#@!#$!, I just type password.

    There. Phew. Vented out.

  17. upsi:

    for two days, earlier this week, i delayed the departure of the entire household because i was missing my (only) belt (not that i really need it to prevent a wardrobe malfunction). ;-)

    guess where the belt was found? in the place where it was supposed to be! :-) irrespective of what you think (and despite the fact that scatterbrain is me), i really did look in there first but missed it! now i can laugh about it, but it was not really funny monday and tuesday.

    – s.b.

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