So secure! Until it’s not.

I’m the first to admit that I can be absent minded at times. There, said it.

Anyway, from the time I got my local SIM card, I hadn’t turned my phone off…. Until today.

I turn my phone on and it’s asking me for a PIN. As you probably guessed, I have zero idea what it could be – and I threw away the little pack that had the default PIN on it. 0000? No…1234? Did I already change it? *tries the same PIN I use elsewhere*… No, I didn’t change it. Shit.

“Enter PUK code”

Of course, the PUK code is printed on the little pack that I threw away.

OK, let’s take the SIM out, and start the phone; the network has its own app and maybe I can get it from there… Nope.

So far it’s a fairly unremarkable (if not annoying) situation. But then I thought I might try logging in to the carrier via the net – often you can do more on the website than via apps.

I go to login; they’ve implemented something very cool (albeit completely useless to me at this point); login to the site by dialing a temporary number!

Such a cool idea.

Of course, it was of no use to me at that point, but I did try logging in later once I’d solved the problem, and it worked really well.

Now, even though I couldn’t call to login, all was not lost; I could also login using my:

  • Mobile ID, or 
  • Online banking authentication, or
  • Smart ID, or
  • ID card

Which, of course, I have none of. Bugger. Right, off to the store – living a block away from a shopping centre has some benefits.

I tell the store assistant that I need a PUK code. Flashing back to when I used to work at 3, and the times I’ve had to call a mobile company to get a PUK code (before you could just get it online), I was prepared for all the account verification questions.

First question: Your phone number, please?

Second question: There was no second question. PUK code obtained. That’s it.

Aside from being fast and easy, I was a little perplexed that there were 2 distinct categories of getting that information; secure and not secure.

If you’ve read Jacqui’s posts about how secure things are, and the litany of hoops you have to jump through in order to get to that level of security, you’ll probably understand my thinking.

The Mobile ID, online banking authentication, smart ID and ID card are all highly secure, and that’s partially why they’re such a pain in the ass to acquire (and the rest is just their inefficient processes).

But then, there were the two other options; call the number to login to the website, or wander into a store, tell them a phone number, and get the PUK code without question. Odd. Not secure. Especially considering there is a bit of personal information on the website once you’ve logged in.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.