Internet Security is an Oxymoron!

March 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

     The Truth is Stranger than Fiction.

     This is a simple, yet complex story about the word oxymoron. Just like the opening words simple and complex, in the same sentence, this oxymoron story makes no sense, even when told in full context, so stay with me and you will understand the word oxymoron. Maybe. Youghiogheny River Mist, Ohiopyle, PA

     Five years ago, I started paying bills on line using electronic banking and until recently have had no problems with payments being lost in transit or a bill payee not applying a payment. A simple email alerted me to a problem of a missing payment from my trash company, so I started my journey to find out what happened?   

     After numerous phone calls to my trash company, over a six week period, five different account service people told me, that it would take a case manager one to two weeks to find the lost payment. The trash company finally informed me that they had changed my account number and no longer had access to my old number. They could not tell me why they changed the number or why I was not informed. Some how they had "lost" the payment and the old account number.

    I called my bank and went through the usual phone loop drill of using a password and a second level password, then press the pound key and hope to get to a human being. When I finally got through to a real person, I then needed a  full name, social security number, address, phone number, zip code, pet's name and for a moment, thought I would have to give a blood sample to guarantee my identity. After explaining the problem, I was told that due to high level security protection, they could not give me the full account number that the trash company needed to search for the lost payment on their computer system.

    I only had access to the last four digits of my old number, since the bank had hidden the first five digits on my bill pay web page, to protect me, as it turned out "from myself." I asked for a supervisor and was told that she could only confirm the entire number, if I gave it to them in person over the phone. The idea was to protect my security from anyone using the number....."even me." I confirmed the last four digits (again) and gave my permission for the bank account representative to tell me the entire number. No Dice!

    Later that day, I looked up the word oxymoron in Webster's Dictionary and it reads......"pointedly foolish" or "a contradiction of words," so according to that definition.......I was talking to an oxymoron!

     P.S.  I used my favorite photo of a tranquil river in the mountains of Pennsylvania, to help lower my blood pressure, when writing this oxymoron story, that was simple yet complex.

 

 

 


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