CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Account Information? This Can Be Interesting!

So, what do you do about an account when you have none of the details about the setup, but you need to be able to maintain it?

That's a very good question!

In the past at the festival, various cyber-related accounts have been set up by one (or sometimes more) Staff members who didn't share the information about said accounts with others.

For example, when I took over the festival website, I didn't have the FTP information, including the account password. In this case, it was really simple to fix the problem by contacting the (extremely helpful) host of our domain (who kindly commiserated on the situation).

My new policy about all cyber accounts that are expressly for the use of the festival is that they be set up with more than one Staff person having the information -- and using generic email accounts and not personal ones! In some cases, usernames and/or ownership of an account are totally tied to whatever email is used to set something up. When someone leaves our Staff, we remove them from our Server, which means their email address disappears. Clearly you've got a problem if an account was set up using that email!

Right now I'm trying to run something rather essential down without having any of the setup details or a contact person. I'm having to do it in a cyber fashion, because I don't have an actual phone number I can call.

Personally, I can't imagine working anywhere where I didn't leave important information behind me when I left, regardless of the circumstances. In my mind, account information belongs to the organization, so not divulging it is just another form of stealing. That might sound strong, but think about it: if a person has information that is necessary to keep an account active and viable and they refuse or neglect to share that info, then the account can become inactive and/or inaccessible. In some cases -- like the one I'm currently dealing with -- this can cost an organization (or business) to lose money. So isn't that a type of theft?

I'd like to be able to say that the person (or persons) involved with the original account are blameless and didn't mean for the festival to have issues with this account, but I don't happen to believe that's true. I know that personally I'd never fail to share information that isn't really MINE if I were to leave the festival -- regardless of the circumstances. (Yes, I've been laid off in my life -- and it hurts. But that doesn't give me the right to do anything negative to the place that's laid me off. Layoffs aren't personal, even if it feels like they are.)

I'm sure I'll be able to work around the missing information eventually. I'm in the process of doing so right now. I've already done this several times with various festival accounts (such as the website), so it's no big thing, really. But it bothers me that the information wasn't made available, so that I wouldn't have to bother to track it down.

Who do we really hurt when we do things like this -- things we know are wrong? We hurt ourselves. I feel bad for anyone who loses their job, I sincerely do. But I have such admiration for people who handle the situation with grace and class (and I know a lot of them, believe me).

My policy should assure that this situation won't happen again in the future for the festival. Of course, this relies on each Staff person following the policy as we go along. I don't like being the one who needs to 'police' what others do, frankly. But I'm doing it because I know what happens if we don't have a policy in place that we follow...

Granted, it can be difficult to keep track of all our cyber accounts! That's true for both individuals and companies/organizations. I don't even know offhand how many there are related just to the festival's website, which shows what a can of worms this can be. But even though I don't know the number, I have detailed written records of each one -- and the emails and passwords that go with them. It would be easy for me to pass this on to anyone else -- and in most cases there's one or two other people who have access to that info right now, which is only appropriate.

It doesn't take a genius to know that in this very cyber-active world we now live in, it's necessary to be smart and organized...

Tags: 2009, cyber-related, festival, festival-website, june-2009

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