This is a repeat, with a few additions that happened since I wrote the original blog.

Today I had the misfortune or doing two things that required checking into my account with my bank and with Office Depot. (both online)

Starting with the Office Depot nonsense. They sent me my ‘password’ which is a four number code. Then when I got to the site, it said it must be 8-20 numbers and letters long. Then they asked for my User Name. This was also rejected. I still can’t access my account.

They got a nasty letter from me. What is up with these companies? You would think big national retailers would want to make it easy for customers, not impossible.

My next latest bout with setting up an online account involved choosing three, not one, but three security questions. Really. Now these were the ones I chose?

What city were you born in? What is your maternal grandfather’s first name and what is your paternal grandmother’s first name? This was to access my Care Credit account, which I use for dental work. I seriously doubt anyone in the world would be the slightest bit interested in hacking into this account.

Then came my banking situation. I have a money market account with Morgan Stanley. I opened the account in Honolulu, and then my account manager moved to their New York office. Then she left the firm.

So now I have an account in a very inconvenient place. To call them when they open, requires me getting up at 4 a.m. Plus with all the press this and that, nobody is even aware that I exist.

So on my daughters recommendation I decided to switch my account to the Morgan Stanley office in San Francisco, where I would receive more personalized service. (Such as how much is my balance).

This seemed like a great idea except I had to change all my checking account numbers/checks and automatic payments to the new account number. And when I did this, I was told that automatic payments cannot be made through a brokerage account. (Although I have done this for over five years).

In order for the transfer to be completed, Morgan Stanley New York needed a Secure Password from me to access my own statement online. There were so many rules and restrictions on the password, I gave up. I forwarded the entire letter below to the San Francisco office and let them deal with it.

This message was sent using the Morgan Stanley Secure E-mail service at the direction of an employee of Morgan Stanley or one of its affiliates.

This is an automated message sent to you because Morgan Stanley attempted to send you a secure, encrypted e-mail message. The software used by the sender requires that you choose a password before you can receive the e-mail message and open its Secure PDF attachment.

Visit the following site: Morgan Stanley Secure E-mail Server and choose a password.

If you have any questions about the Morgan Stanley Secure E-mail service please contact our Client Interaction Center at 1-800-780-0256, or if you are calling from outside the U.S. please dial 1-801-617-9145. The Client Interaction Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also send an email to us at secure.emailhelp@morganstanley.com.

Then after the San Francisco office answered the above letter for me, I received the following letter. I simply forwarded it to the SF office and that was that.

This message was sent using the Morgan Stanley Secure E-mail service at the direction of an employee of Morgan Stanley or one of its affiliates.

Open the PDF file attached to this notification. When prompted, enter your Secure PDF password to view the message contents.

To reply to this message in a secure manner, it is important that you use the Reply link inside the Secure PDF file. This will ensure that any confidential information is sent back securely to the sender.

Please note: Adobe Reader version 7 or later is required to view all Secure PDF messages.

If you have any questions about the Morgan Stanley Secure E-mail service please contact our Client Interaction Center at 1-800-780-0256, or if you are calling from outside the U.S. please dial 1-801-617-9145. The Client Interaction Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also send an email to us at secure.emailhelp@morganstanley.com.

Maybe the people of today who grew up with computers don’t find this at all confusing, but for me it is. I have only been using a computer for about ten years, and it seems to be getting harder, not easier. Or is it just me?

I wonder if there is a class in school now that teaches students all this stuff by the time they enter high school, or do the kids now, just know all this by the seat of their pants?

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