Rant: Useless Security Measures

I was recently on the phone with Register.com for one reason: to change my contact email address. The dialogue that ensued was hilarious, so I thought I would share it.

First of all, I logged into register.com with credentials that I magically remembered. The contact info was over 15 years old – email, phone number, etc. and I did not have access to any of this stuff.

I could change the phone number and address, but not the email. To change the email on file, you have to have access to the old email to accept the change. Standard protocol which has saved me from being hacked on more than one occasion. So, I called Customer Support, while still logged into the site.

The Exchange


Support: Thanks for calling support, what is your domain name?
Me: danwaters.com
Support: And what is your name?
Me: Dan Waters.
Support: You haven’t set up any secret questions, so I will have to call you back at the phone number on file to verify your identity.
Me: That phone number is my home line. I’m at work.
Support: I will have to email you then.
Me: I can’t access the email you have on file. That’s why I am calling you.
Support: Well, I need to verify your identity somehow.
Me: Okay, I just set up three secret questions. Ask me what my first model of car was.
Support: What was your first car?
Me: (answer)
Support: Ok, great. Now we need one more form of verification. Can you change your phone number temporarily to a place where I can contact you?
Me: Okay, sure. (changes # to cell number) Go ahead and call.
Support: Great, thanks, talk to you in a minute.
  (hang up)
  (my phone rings)
Me: Hello again.
Support: Dan?
Me: Yes.
Support: Okay, we’re good to go now. So, what would you like me to change the email address on file to?


I’m truly curious what this process did for anybody, except waste time.