You visit a website. You enter your user name and password. Then, it happens.
The challenge. Nope, no sign in for you. You’re going to have to prove you’re you. But didn’t I just do that? User name Hoodie, password SuperBowl. Come on! (Not actual passwords I use, but now that I think of it…)
This is where it gets tricky. We’ll just send you a one time code to your phone and you’ll be signed in within seconds. Except, whoops, you created this account two phone numbers ago. Of course, to change the phone number to send codes to you’d have to be……..logged into your account, which you’re not.
Alright, email it, then. What? You used the work email address of the job you left just a few days ago for that cool new one (actual thing I did) and you no longer have access to that account? Aargh. The internet is a football, you’re Charlie Brown and Lucy is your holder. Note, don’t sign up with work email addresses, especially if you’re a job hopper like me who bounces from job to job every 19 years.
I tried to sign into Facebook the other day on my new work laptop to dispense words of wisdom to my legion of fans (also not an actual thing.) Challenge flag on the field, we don’t recognize this device. That’s because I just got it yesterday! You’re an idiot, Zuckerberg. Email me the code? Nope. Signed up for the account with the old work address (see above.) Instead, Facebook displayed ten posts and asked me to identify the ones that were mine. Uh oh, this might be tough. Let’s see, “Trump 2024.” Definitely not. There were a few I was sure were mine, some that were surely not and a couple that could have gone either way. The last time I went through this I had to press firmly with a number two pencil and fill in the circles completely.
At least it wasn’t “identify all the squares that have fire hydrants in them.” Ever try doing that with bad eyes and chubby fingers on a seven inch Android screen? Is that a fire hydrant or Jabba the Hut? Click here to prove you’re not a robot. I’d like to click between your eyes.
Some websites ask you to create challenge questions when you first sign up. That’s cool, but then…My best man’s middle name? I’m sure I knew it at one time.
Making this infintely more difficult is that I like to play around with operating systems. I have one laptop that has Windows and two different flavors of Linux. Each is considered a different device when I try to sign into an account. We don’t recognize you. Look! No hair, glasses, overweight. It’s me, damn it!
Here’s where it goes from the ridiculous to the, well, really ridiculous. I recently was challenged when I tried to sign into, wait for it….THE PROGRAM THAT REMEMBERS MY PASSWORDS! OK, code sent to an email account I have on my phone. I win! This time.
At this point, I wish the COVID vaccine did embed a chip in my body. I’d hold my laptop up to my forehead and log right into anything I want.
Don’t get me started on password creation in the first place. 16 or more characters, three of which must be prime numbers, two of which must be letters of the Greek alphabet? Do I really need an account on pleasebuystuff.com?
That’s enough grumbling for now. I’ll just sign into FingerLakes1.com now and post this. What? You’ve got to be kidding.