2FA Is a Real MFer

The other night I was cozied up in bed, making a weekend AirBNB reservation on my iPad. It had been a long day and I was exhausted. I’m sure you can relate: We’re all catching up from GAC and adjusting to Daylight Savings Time, in addition to managing the usual daily grind of work and home responsibilities. It was a miracle I had managed to drag my middle aged corpse upstairs and into bed. I was tucked in for the night.

Or so I thought.

Before I could complete my reservation, my AirBNB app required me to enter a code it had texted to my iPhone. A few months ago, that would have been easy enough, because I used to charge my phone overnight on my bedside table. But noooooo … I had to jump on the bedroom phone ban bandwagon (say that three times quickly) as a New Year’s resolution.

Yes, two-factor authentication is becoming more commonplace, and I appreciate AirBNB’s efforts to keep my data safe. But I’ll be honest: at that moment, my mouth suffered a major expletive breach.

If I were in my 20s, I could have easily schlepped downstairs to fetch my phone and skipped back up to enter the code into the app, excited about my mini vacay. I probably would have grabbed a beer and some chips while downstairs without pausing to appreciate my effortless kid metabolism.

But I’m not in my 20s. I have clients and a kid and a mortgage and bad knees and wobbly ankles, and making weekend plans isn’t something I can do in my marketing specialist cubicle while complaining about how hard my life if because I have to design a HELOC campaign.

Yes, I know, I’m no better now, complaining about this unbearable first world problem instead of writing about leveraging assets. But gee whiz, security is a real bugger for aging Gen Xers. It’s bad enough we have to remember 60 gajillion passwords when we can’t memorize the conference call number and access code we use almost every single day. Now we have to remember a password AND get up out of bed.

Oh, the humanity!

Where’s the easy peasy biometrics security we’ve been promised for years? Tech dudes and dudettes, here’s a marketing tip: When it comes to customer experience, those 40 and up will select ease of use every single time.

Why do I love my credit union? Because its mobile app uses thumbprint authentication. That’s crucial when I’m in the checkout line at the supermarket, wrestling a bag of fruit snacks away from my kid with one hand while transferring funds with my other because I’ve already exceeded my six transfers from savings to checking this month, thank you very much Reg D. (While I’m complaining, could somebody please cattle prod Congress into finally getting rid of that one? Berger, I'm looking at you.)

Data security is a real problem, and I’m thankful businesses take it seriously. But the older I get, the harder it is to clear these security hurdles. I hope I never have to pee in a cup before I can reorder dog food on Amazon Prime, because nobody wants to read that post.

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