Friday, February 4, 2011

Privacy Protection

My privacy is so well protected I can't hear myself think!

You know the instructions …

“Please reset your password. It must contain a minimum of eight characters with at least one upper case and one lower case letter and two numbers … and no special characters.”

“Please set three security questions. 1) What was the name of your first pet? (I was a kid. How should I know?) 2) The name of your college roommate. (I had lots of those.) 3) What is your grandfather's mother's maiden name? (Let me get out the family bible!)

My son is serving a two year proselyting mission in Brazil. He only calls outside the country on Christmas and Mothers' Day. He lost his debit card three months ago! I ordered a new one and he finally received it three weeks ago. In his weekly email he indicated he was having difficulty using it. I stepped in to the local bank ...

“Everything seems to be working. Did you give him the correct PIN?” I sent another email with the PIN once again. I assumed that was the problem. Another week went by and another email arrived - “Still having trouble with the card. Here is an 800 number for assistance.” I called the 800 number …

“Please give me the last four digits of your social security number to verify your identity.

“Please give me the number on the card.”

“If you could just ask him if it gives him an error message when he tries to use the card ...”

Me: I cannot call him. I have to wait for an email. He needs access to this account!

“If you could just call him ...”

Me: I can't call him! It will take two weeks to get an answer by email!

“I can't view his account because you are not him.”

Me: I am a co-owner of that account! I have all his information. I have Power of Attorney for him! HE NEEDS ACCESS TO THIS ACCOUNT! It will take two months to order another card and get it to him. Can't you just check to see if it is authorized for international use?

“I am a mother, too, so I understand, but because his name is on the card I can't ...”

Me: My local bank was able to access it last week!

“I would hate to give information to the wrong person ...”


“Well you could step in to your local bank and they could VERIFY YOUR IDENTITY.

Isn't that why I gave her the last four digits of my SSN?


  1. Oh no! If it wasn't so important it would be funny! My Dad is hard of hearing and won't get hearing aids, so using the telephone is a big challenge. I take care of everything to do with Cable One (TV and internet). Was getting no service awhile ago on internet so I called the 800 number. I could answer everything in the security line-up until they asked for the last 4 of his SSN. I set up the security questions, the backup questions etc, and it never asked for his SSN. This call was in the middle of the night and I think the call center guy was bored and wanted to yank my chain. I finally threw in the towel...I also snuk into my parents file cabinet and gleaned that 4 digit number. Didn't tell them and still feel skeevy about it. I can just hear my Mom, if I had asked permission "Why in hell do they need to know that? I'll go without internet before I start handing out SSn numbers....", you get the drift. Didn't have the heart to tell her that skady-eight years ago when they first got cable TV, they had to give up that 4 digit number...she'd just start ranting about 'What is this world coming to?'. Sigh. Living with old people you are related to: priceless!