How Did this Happen?
I am the father of three and have a degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin. I have worked on telephony systems, relational database technologies, built integrated telemarketing systems and been responsible for multimillion dollar businesses information technology platforms. Yet, I am baffled by things today that are acceptable to the average computer user. For example, maybe it’s a generation thing, but I would never let my computer store my password in a keychain. I just wouldn’t do it. When I would work on large systems, the simple pieces were always given to the new guys and the fun, more complex pieces we kept for ourselves. Specifically, the login and password concepts were given to the guys right out of school. It didn’t mean we didn’t care about them; we just didn’t care about them a lot. So, we would roast the new guys for their bugs and give ourselves a small amount of leeway.
Now, I get roasted by my kids for not saving my passwords on the computer so they can login to the food delivery services and order food whenever they want! I hear, “Dad, why isn’t you credit card stored in DoorDash?” Because if it was, you would spend $100/day on food. Not to mention if DoorDash gets hacked, my credit card information would then be available to the highest bidder on this famous “dark web” we are hearing so much about. This usually gets responded to with an eyeroll and a delivery driver ringing my doorbell 15 minutes later.
I know if I’m so worried about exposure to the dark web, I can join a service that will spend up to $100,000 on attorneys to help me get out from underneath a major hack. Which if I do the math, is roughly about three hours of legal fees and a letter explaining how sorry they were you were breached.
Listen, I know I sound like an old coot, but any place we choose to store a password, or worse, a credit card, we are taking a huge risk. Now as time moves forward, and security gets better, we will become complacent and start to feel safer. Then we will be at home watching the evening news and hear about a major breach of some site that wasn’t secure and hope we won’t be associated.
So, as I vent my warnings here, I feel better, and as I feel better, I decide to let one of my three kids order a pizza or a burger. I give them my credit card and they say that they don’t need it because last time they used it they saved it in the system. I then realize I have been ran over by own my kids and their trusting nature. Maybe it’s because if it messes up it doesn’t affect them. Or, maybe it’s because I am a grumpy old man who doesn’t trust the way things are today. Who knows!
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