Pet Peeve #1

Man grabing his head with both hands in frustration

My pet peeve #1 – you would think it would be a customer losing or forgetting a password.  Although that is frustrating, that’s not my #1 pet peeve.  What is, however, is when information is not updated to recover or reset the password.

Pet Peeve #1 Examples

For example:  recently, I was setting up a new computer and when I went to add the email account, the password was unknown.  No problem, we’ll just reset it!  To reset the password, we can simply answer the security questions.  Ut-oh.  My customer could not correctly answer the security questions.  “I set the questions and answer up a long time ago.  I thought I knew the answers I gave years ago.”  Unfortunately, the customer did not know the answers he gave years ago.

Another example: the same scenario – password is unknown.  When we went to reset the password, the company wanted to send an email with a link.  “I haven’t had that email address in years!”  We’re stuck once again.

Final example: go to reset password and the company wants to send a link to my customer’s cell phone.  “I don’t have that cell phone number any longer.”  Boom!  We were in trouble once more.

Why This Is Pet Peeve #1

When I run across this inability to reset a password, customers sometimes don’t understand why password backup methods are important. “I have all my passwords written down, I didn’t change it!” I hear that response often. Unfortunately, if his or her password was too weak, a hacker may have broken into their account and the hacker may have changed the password. If old information is in the account, resetting the password can be difficult and, sometimes, impossible.

What You Need To Do

The point of my rant is that you need to log into important accounts (email, bank, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) and check your security settings.  Make sure that whatever method you have set up for recovery (email, cell phone, security questions) is current.  You should do this today!

Some Good News

As I’m updating this post in September of 2022, there’s some good news. Apple is now moving to eliminate passwords and replace them with passcodes. Microsoft has actually given users the ability to do away with passwords for some time. Google is also making progress towards the end of passwords. This is good news for all of us. Keep reading my blog posts for updates on this new movement to end the need for passwords.


About the Author

John Grubb

I've been working on computers since 1983! I love helping people resolve their computing issues and sharing preventative measures, as well.

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