Your Mother’s Middle Name Is Too Short.

I got a new credit card in the mail today. While I was setting up my online account, I was presented with the following screen.

This bank apparently believes my mother’s middle name must be at least four characters long to be useful in establishing my identity, regardless of what her name actually is.

In other words, I might have to lie before they’ll trust me.


All the more reason to not use actual facts when creating account recovery answers. Use a password manager to store the made-up answers.

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“We’re Done Now. Shut Up and Go Away”

I got an email from my legislative representative — at its bottom was the notice:

Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. To contact me, please visit the contact page on my website.

Instead of clicking “reply” and typing “Thanks for your support!” he wants me to go to a web form, re-enter all my personal contact information, and type my now-out-of-context message. In other words,

We’re done now. Shut up and go away!

I’m sure my representative would disagree with my interpretation, noting he closed his email with,

I hope you will continue to send your observations and thoughts my way.

Although “words mean things” I also believe “actions speak louder than words.” In this case, erecting a high barrier to responding “shouts over” his words requesting my observations and thoughts.

I understand: he doesn’t want a bunch of spam. Certainly, his IT experts could set up an email filter that accepts emails from accounts he just emailed.