With the internet offering us interconnectivity, simple tasks like buying pet food can be accomplished with just a few strokes on the keyboard. So many simple things can be done much more easily, and we have access to so much information.
Except those pesky usernames and passwords complicate the process. Increasingly, my personal time online is spent entering these only to get an error message. Sometimes, when I have to reset these, a security question will appear, asking something like, how old was your father when you were born?
Through my frustration, I laughed when one of these security questions asked in what city my parents were married, and then deemed my answer incorrect. I began to wonder if the story my parents had told me all my life was somehow untrue, and if the omniscient computer program knew more about my parents’ past than I did.
That companies have documented such information about my past – where I attended middle school, my first employer, the make and model of my first car, my past addresses – seems downright creepy, too. I don’t have anything to hide, but only a stalker would dig up such details.
I later wondered if someone like me, who uses a computer and cell phone apps on a daily basis, often hits a wall when trying to look up accounts online, how does a person 20 years older who has little computer experience access their Medicare and Social Security accounts?
And in 20 years, will I remember my first pet’s name?
Perhaps by then, such programs will be perfected, allowing fingerprints or facial recognition to be used as a security measure. Security is important, but so is a person’s right to easily look up information about their health and retirement benefits. Wasn’t that the intention when these online accounts were created? There has to be a better way.
One can only hope in this age of innovation, a better, more accessible method will be created, removing roadblocks to our important information.