SURRATT: My battle with Facebook part of a bigger problem

Published 4:00 am Friday, July 14, 2023

I am at war with Facebook.

This battle does not involve any complaint about a post or advertisement that appeared on the site. Rather, it’s about a problem of access. In other words, Facebook won’t let me on my profile.

As all Facebook junkies know, the website went to new security measures to “protect” its users from being hacked or any other foul play on their site. I apparently waited too long to sign on to the new protection and Facebook blocked my access.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

I use Facebook at work, but I go to my personal page once every other full moon. A couple of days ago, I was at home and bored and decided to check out my personal page to find it blocked and a display telling me to sign up for the new security system. I put in my password and was told I had changed passwords; something I don’t remember doing, but memory lapses are not uncommon in my advanced years.

I sat staring at my computer trying to remember my password for several minutes before clicking on the line that said, “Can’t remember password” and looked at the options to put in a new password. One of the recommendations was to enter my password, which didn’t make any sense, since I couldn’t remember it and had to get a new one. After several minutes of answering questions and getting an access code, I set my new password and went about trying to get back to my page.

I managed to get through the maze of instructions and clicks and double clicks until I opted for a process that needed a new numerical code sent by text to my phone. Now I’ve gone through this with other websites, and usually I get my code as soon as I entered the request. Not with Facebook. I entered my request Sunday night; I’m still waiting for the code.

So here I sit in front of my computer at work writing about problems with my Facebook page and laughing at the irony that I can go on Facebook at any time while I’m at work and access my personal page, but on other devices, I have no luck. You’ve just got to love technology.

But my problems with Facebook are part of what seems to be a bigger problem — websites have become so security-conscious that it takes a series of codes and personal questions before you can get on a site.

In my career, I’ve gone through baggage checks to fly out to a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, a car search before entering a military base or refinery and was almost strip-searched before I could witness an execution at Parchman. But none have been as embarrassing as getting on a website and being told you can’t enter because the security code the site gave you was “invalid.”

It is, I guess, a sign of the times and will get worse as web developers develop security measures and the bad guys find ways around them. It makes me long for the days of letters, files and pay phones.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John