Verified by SecureCode My Arse

Despite prolific online shopping, I had so far managed to avoid using the stupid and useless phishing magnet which is known as Verified By Visa or Mastercard Securecode. I’ve done this by pretending to use it and then cancelling it at the last. This has always worked.

Wen has less patience than me, so last time she used it she caved and registered.

Today I tried to buy something from Tesco, and up popped the Mastercard Securecode (or was it? who can tell as it is a separate window from another website – the very thing that we are taught never to trust when online) with the username filled in as MSWLAW. Clearly this isn’t me. I had just told Tesco that the name on the card was D Law.

This has happened because we have two cards on the same account, which have the same number. Egg clearly haven’t thought this through at all.

The terms and conditions of Mastercard Securecode are very strict. You are not allowed to write it down even though it must be 7 characters long and include at least 2 numbers. (So what will people do? Choose something obvious and easy to remember, of course.) More pertinently, you are not allowed to tell anyone. So I can not now use my credit card, because Wen has registered, and is forbidden to tell me her password. I rang Tesco: they said it was “the law” made by Mastercard and Visa and I must call my card issuer. I rang Egg, but the normal helpline shuts at 3pm on Saturday. What a surprise that I should shop online outside working hours!

I have another credit card, which is now registered in my name and Wen won’t be able to use that card online.

And yet, I have no idea why adding another password makes this in any sense “safer”. I suspect that what it does do is make it much more likely that any fraudulent use of my card will be blamed on me, because I must have told someone my password.

Gits. More on Moday when I’ve spoken to them.

1 Response to “Verified by SecureCode My Arse”


  • I recently decided to sort my mess of passwords out by starting to use a password manager (I eventually settled on 1Password). it was either that or use exactly the same password for everything (which was bound to go wrong sooner or later!)

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