Sunday, May 25, 2014

Security Question

Men have become the tool of their tools.
                                     ---Henry David Thoreau

My phone beeped. I had a text. Twelve-year-old Grandson Jack had a question.

Where were you born? 

Well, this is interesting, I thought. Big Spring, TX, I texted back. And PawPaw was born in Cuthbert, GA just in case you need to know.

His response: Thanks.

I wanted to keep the chat going since he doesn’t do this very often. 

So what’s up? Is this for something you’re doing for school? A grandmother’s heart is always looking for the best.

No. I’m trying to get into my DS and I can’t. Mom set it up so I tried Naples, FL but that didn’t work. Yours didn’t either. 

And then it hit me…she’s blocked him so he can’t get into that game thing until he has permission. 

And it hit me again…in his world, I’ve become the answer to a security question. I’ve reached a whole new level of identity. 

Here’s the humorous end to this tale. When I spoke with my daughter two days later, she knew he was trying to access his games. Of course, it was all because of me. I had sent him a gift card for his birthday. He had bought a new game and needed to update the DS so he could play it. He had his mom’s permission but she couldn’t remember the security code either. They ended up calling Nintendo and getting the code changed. I hope she wrote it down somewhere.

That’s the world we’re living in now. Everything we do has a password or a code and they’re not all the same. It’s not safe to use the same one for everything because then the bad guys can access everything you’ve got. Including your bank account. Which they do with relative ease anyway. I don’t know about your brain, but mine just can’t remember all those different letters and numbers and symbols. Security questions are the easiest because you’re likely to remember the name of your first dog sooner than you will some random grouping of nonsense. And of course you’ll know where you were born. You just have to remember whose birth place you used when you set up the system. And which letters were upper case and lower case.

Wow…when I was twelve years old all I had to know was my address and phone number. Now I don’t dare lose sight of my little notebook that has the access information for all the important sites I visit in cyber world. We are enlightened. We press on to greater heights. 

O, the places we’ll go! If we can just remember the security code.

Feel the breeze: Is there a technology issue in your life? Consult a kid.