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I Just Miss MySpace, Man…

, , , , , , | Working | November 22, 2022

Remember the good ol’ days of Internet security, kids? When we were all taught that you don’t leave bank information on places it can be swept up and sold?

This all starts with Mom who, to her credit, is trying to pay me back for groceries and fund my new obsession with bowling. [Credit Union], following the Great Trends of Machinery, recently decided in their infinite wisdom to bestow an entire system overhaul of their website, a new app, and a brand-new “experience” on us.

My mother is pre-home computers. This may be important later.

She logs in and tries to transfer money.

Mom: “Oh, honey, you’re not signed up for [Money Transfer System]. Can you sign up real quick?”

Me: “Uh, I’ve been signed up since I started using the bank. What email are you using?”

Cue a “Who’s On First?” moment about emails, names, and any potential variations I might have signed up with when I was all of twelve and got my first bank account.

Me: “You know, they did just update everything recently. Are you using the new app? There might be some system issues.”

Mom responds with all the confidence of a pre-tech Boomer.

Mom: “Oh, obviously not. You must have forgotten you capitalized a letter in your email address.”

Me: “…what?”

It goes downhill from there.

My mother’s arguments vary from, “But the computer says you’re not enrolled!” to, “They can’t have system issues; it worked just fine for your brother!”

At some point, I try to log in.

This is obviously a mistake. I am using [Browser #1] with a password generator — as one does — and it isn’t working. I get kicked out and have to reset my password. Twice.

Me: “Well, this isn’t working. Can you call the [Credit Union] people and ask for help?”

Mom: “I’m trying to transfer money to you! This is your job!”

Me: “You do know that the nice people who will get a lot of federal jail time if they mishandle your money might not want to talk about your account with me, right?”

Mom: “But if the computer says that you’re not enrolled, it must be your problem!”

I break first and drive down to the [Credit Union]. I walk in, show my ID, and try to word things in a way that does not violate federal law…

Me: “Hi. My mom and I are having two problems: first, I can’t get my password manager to work on [Browser #1] with your site. Second, the money transfer system says I’m enrolled on my end, but my mom’s device says I’m not. What’s going on?”

Teller: “Uh…”

Passing Teller: “Oh, I know! The money transfer system has been doing that; she just has to re-add her contacts. And [Browser #1] is inherently outdated, so it’s incompatible with our site!”

I pause and translate this from Non-Computer Speak into “Wait A Minute, Didn’t [Browser #2] Just Update Its ‘Security’ Policy?”.

Then, I say my thanks and leave.

I return home and tell my mom that she needs to re-add me as a contact. She does so, and all is well.

Then, I opened my instant messenger to speak to my much more savvy sister at college.

Me: “Remember when [Browser #2] decided they were going to collect data, sell it to the highest bidder, forbid [Ad Blocker], and leave you open to every bug on the planet? Someone in [Credit Union]’s web developer team apparently decided that means they’ll get more money from their end-user if their site is only compatible with [Browser #2]. And then told their wife that [Browser #1] is ‘outdated’. I’m pretty sure a middle manager somewhere is making a web designer cry into a beer for the Days of Yore when browser compatibility meant more than, ‘We think this is Cool With The Kids and Hip and also makes money.'”

Now I’m off figuring out how to keep [Browser #2] from stealing my friggin’ bank password. And losing my faith in humanity.

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