Two-step checks cause no-sig­nal pain

Computer Active (UK) - - Letters -

My heart sank when I read about plans to in­tro­duce two-fac­tor ver­i­fi­ca­tion to con­firm pur­chases on­line (News, Is­sue 514, page 9), not least be­cause the mo­bile sig­nal where we live is sim­ply not up to the job.

I will never for­get the time not long ago that I needed a val­i­da­tion code to ac­cess my credit-card bill from Tesco on a new PC. I was talk­ing to a real hu­man on the phone – he said he would text me the code (but he couldn’t see what it was be­cause it was so se­cret it’s gen­er­ated au­to­mat­i­cally some­where in the void). He said it would be valid for only 10 min­utes. I made him stay on the line so that he could over­ride the time limit. The code ar­rived some 40 min­utes later (we had a nice chat while we waited).

To give them credit, Tesco now of­fers to send a code to a land­line. But this so-won­der­ful idea that we can do ev­ery­thing us­ing our mo­bile phones sim­ply won’t wash. There are still too many peo­ple with re­ally bad sig­nals. It’s an­other ex­am­ple of those who have will be OK; those who don’t will lose out. El­speth Christie

There is an easy so­lu­tion to the in­con­ve­nience of two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion. In­stall the free soft­ware Push­bul­let ( www.push­bul­let.com) on your PC and phone, link the two, and hey presto, your ver­i­fi­ca­tion code will pop up in a small win­dow at the bot­tom of your screen. It then doesn’t mat­ter where in the house your phone is. Gary Mar­shall

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