Do you need a cell phone?
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you have to get with the program. Cell phones are becoming a mechanism of guaranteeing contact with the “right” person. Internet services are using cell phone text services to send verification and notification of account changes with an account holder.
Recently, an elderly client had forgotten their email password at their Internet provider. The provider used to call the home phone to verify a password reset but they have a new and “improved” process. A confirmation key is sent to the subscriber via cell phone text message. A real genius thought this one up, there is no alternative way to reset passwords. No cell phone, no password reset!
The customer service people had a “hack” to fix the problem. They could use any cell phone number to send the verification code by text message. Doesn’t that seem a bit insecure? If the cell phone number provided is associated with another Internet account that breaks the process too.
A flow chart is a great tool that can help determine steps to take to solve a problem. Just follow the steps to resolve an issue. All possible cases should be documented. If someone had used a simple flow chart to document the new and improved password recovery, the “what if the customer doesn’t have a cell phone” case should have been addressed.
A few years ago, “Obama phones” were the subject of government waste investigations. The program was supposed to help low income people obtain a cell phone. At the time, it did appear that cell phones were luxuries but they have become a necessity of today’s society. The program probably did help some of the intended recipients but it also was abused. Some of the persons entrusted with distributing the cell phones would give them away or sell them to anyone. The point is that the program was looking to the future. The intent was to help people but it was poorly managed.
There are a lot of things that are not easy to accept but sometimes you have to accept change. Cell phones are here to stay. If you want to stay off the grid, not having a cell phone is a good start. The cell phone does introduce privacy issues. Cell phone holders are able to be tracked. Big brother can track your movements.
The intrusions into privacy can also be used to benefit the cell phone user. Cell phones have helped convict and exonerate people accused of crimes. Law enforcement has used cell phones to locate missing people too.
Have you accepted cell phone technology?