More SSN Madness

If you need further evidence as to why using a Social Security Number (SSN) for identification is a bad idea consider this new story from real life. AppleBank recently launched its on-line banking service. In order to sign up for the on-line service I have to provide my SSN and telephone pin number. While I thought my pin number might be the last four digits of my SSN, I didn’t even bother trying it: “That would be insanely insecure. I’ll call during business hours and figure it out.”

I’ve just got off the phone and I was - sadly - right, the only thing you need to access an AppleBank on-line account that has not yet been activated is the person’s SSN! When I said this to the customer service representative she responded, “That’s the way it’s set up.” I’m just glad I changed my password before someone less scrupulous figures this out: god help you if you are a NYU student with an AppleBank account.

Ported/Archived Responses

anthony on 2004-02-26

Wow, that’s appalling. Citibank uses the debit card number and your chosen pin number. Somewhat more secure I guess.

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