Pet Please #87: When You Get Your Username and Password Right on the First Try on a Website You Haven’t Visited in Years

A few years ago I tried to sell my condo. I had a real estate agent, but I also put a listing on craiglist and on Zillow. Zillow has this “make me move” price feature that allows homeowners to post their overinflated self-valuation, which, in real dollars, typically falls somewhere between “houses that James Bond lives in until they get blow up” and “houses built out of Honus Wagner baseball cards and dipped in gold.”

Needless to say, I didn’t get my “make me move” price. I blame the cats. (I take that back. I blame all the potential buyers who don’t understand the long-term value of having permanent hairball marks on the carpet.)

Eventually I abandoned the idea of selling my condo and resigned myself to the fact that I will live here forever. Which is fine. I’m within walking distance of a movie theater with good popcorn.

So it’s been years since I was on Zillow. But the other day, I noticed that one of my neighbors had a “For Sale” sign up on their balcony, and I did what any polite, considerate neighbor would do: I went to Zillow to find out how much they were selling their house for.

It was there that I encountered the titular pet please of this post: When I logged into Zillow, I took a wild stab at my username and password, and I got it right on the first try. Perhaps that doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but think about the sheer number of usernames and passwords you have. You probably only use about 10 of them on a daily basis, if that. But think about all the random accounts you’ve had to create for random websites where your friends asked you to vote for their cupcake of the month or the dozens of blogs you started and never returned to. Or your AOL account. Yikes. I wonder if I still have an AOL account. I hope no one has IMed me the last 10 years.

Have you encountered this? Please share the embarrassing website where it happened.