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Temporarily Unavailable
added Sun August 19 2007 at 3:50 PM
Where have these last two weeks gone? I'm incredibly backed up on email. I haven't posted anything in two weeks. I haven't gotten pictures sorted from the last two weeks, either. At the beginning of the month, I went to my cousin's wedding and I have a bunch of pictures from that.

Now that I stop to think about it, I think that may have been the beginning of the crazy period. I'm not in any way trying to blame RC, but going to the wedding set off a lot of emotions. I wonder if some of my imbalance has been because of that. I need to refocus and recenter myself if I'm going to keep my head above water in the midst of all the change taking place in my life right now.

That honestly wasn't why I started writing today, though. I was distracted by the fact that it had been two weeks since I wrote, and I correlated that with the two weeks that I'm behind on emails and the two weeks for pictures. The real reason I started writing was to complain about bank websites.

Why is it that every week or two, one or more of my bank websites say that they are "Temporarily Unavailable"? I understand that sometimes sites need maintenance, but there are ways to manage that without taking it down for half a day at a time. If a retail website was down for half a day, the owners would be screaming bloody murder because of the money lost. How is it that banks think they're different? Is it because they already have my money, so they don't feel the need to give me the service they told me about? I check my accounts regularly to make sure that I am aware of all the purchases being charged against them, but also to keep track of how I'm spending my money. If they don't want me to use their website that way, that's fine - I'll find another bank to work with.

As long as we're complaining about bank websites, they really need to catch up on some of their internet security practices. One of my banks used an iframe to encapsulate their log-on form so that it could be on https. That's great that they acknowledged that they needed to use https, but in the process they made it so that the address bar displayed a url that was not https. Them having an image of a little lock on their page did nothing to tell me that they were actually using basic security protocols. I would assume that they made the decision to do it that way to prevent warnings about safe and unsafe elements on the same page, but they did it the wrong way. They finally fixed the problem a few months ago, but I'm working on getting rid of that credit card now anyway (for other reasons, although this didn't make me want to stay)

I have a new bank that I'm working with now that is even worse. They have the log-on form submitting to an https site, but the form itself isn't even on an https site. Which means that as far as I am concerned, they could one day stop using https at all, and I wouldn't even notice it. If you try to add https to the beginning of the url, it redirects you to an http site. I did discover, though, that their redirect page for entering the wrong username and password is completely on https - so whenever I remember, I enter a false password the first time and the real password the second time. Not because I actually believe it's that much more secure, but because of the principal of at least trying to use proper security protocols.

What makes this bank even worse, though, is that they have a don't allow any special characters in the password. I've developed a password that I only use for financial institutions that contains a ton of numbers, letters, and special characters because that's how you guard against a brute force attack on your password. Not only am I forced to use a less secure password, they expect me to use a different password scheme for their bank than what I use for other banks.

It seems to me that banks should be on the forefront of online security and reliability because they're dealing with all of our money, but instead they are dragging behind everybody else.

stephen says:
instead they are dragging behind everybody else.

yeah, i hate when people (banks, govt, teachers, coworkers, etc) drag behind the times. i mean, i don't need everyone to be a techno-buff, but it would help. okay, so maybe i think everyone should be a techno buff.

senator stevens, president bushy-bush bush ... proof that you don't need brains to do certain jobs.

be careful, president bush is listening: use big words.
posted Wed August 29 2007 at 12:11 AM

Jo-Pete says:
It's not so much that I expect banks to be on the forefront of all technology. I don't really care if my bank's website looks the fanciest (although others probably disagree, including their executives). However, I can't think of any other public industry that should be more focused on security. They're controlling my money for the love.
posted Sat September 01 2007 at 6:39 PM


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