Logon Hell

Two quick updates: Murdocks in the dock? FBI probes 9/11 hacking.

Pandora spies.

Now to the main topic: I thought I was good at keeping track of passwords – really complicated ones for banking and other stuff that involves money, basic ones for the library, and something in between for stuff like this blog and Facebook, etc. I have a system to retrieve them as well. It is somewhat more sophisticated than the one used by one of my former bosses who used variations on the F-bomb. It usually didn’t take us long to figure out whether he was using “up,” “you,” “mother,” etc. on the rare occasions that we had to get into his computer. Nor is it changing the suffix number on a single word. That’s the system I used when I worked at the Courant, where we each had to use two passwords to access our computers and had to change one of them about every two weeks. What a collective waste of time!

At least I thought I had a good system until the beginning of the week. There was some stuff going on with an account that I’ve had for some time and I wanted to get updated information. Figured I’d register with the website and take it from there. Hah! I went to register with my account number, and the site told me I was already registered. I looked everywhere I could think of and came up with – nothing. I enlisted the help of the local manager who could not retrieve anything either. The next day I called headquarters and learned I’ve had a logon for seven years. It was listed with an email address I haven’t used in six years and I certainly would never have used the account number and password. After getting a temp password, I set up a new logon and new password. That was yesterday. Just checked and I got in without any problem.

Then yesterday I renewed my National Writers Union membership. Retrieved my logon and password, paid my dues, got a receipt and an email confirmation. Then today I went on the site to see if I could download a membership card. I couldn’t get in because NWU didn’t recognize my logon, didn’t recognize my password, didn’t recognize my email. WTF? So after trying every variation I could think of, I called. The guy I talked to recognized my name, found my membership renewal, and then told me that my logon had changed. Changed? I used the “old” one yesterday! I realized afterward that I linked through from an email and that the site had a big notice saying that old passwords don’t work on the new website. OK. So I had to put in my email, receive a temporary password, then go in and change it – and post a security picture. By then I was so furious I posted a photo of Isis sitting on the papers on my desk. Just checked and it looks like this one kindly lets me stay logged in until I log out. Hallelujah!

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