The GeekSquad exists to handle simple tech problems for folks who don’t find them all that simple. Like PC or email client setup. And along the way, they might pass along a few best practice tips to less knowledgable customers. Like writing down your email password on a piece of paper and handing it to a relative stranger.
That’s what the GeekSquad does for customers who come in for basic computer setup, as you can see on the form above. Apparently, the request is so that the same password can be used as the password for your new PC, but even then, come on Best Buy. It’s hard enough to get non-techies to come up with a secure password, but it’s almost impossible to get them to change it. Try convincing them they have to swap it out after handing it to the GeekSquad kid at Best Buy—and then change it again everywhere else they use the same password. Not happening.
Best Buy says that the the passwords are kept for three years, and then destroyed. And to Best Buy’s credit, when Ars Technica inquired about the passwords, it said that it would look into the practice and probably make a change. Which would be good! Since I’d rather my dad not get in the habit of handing out his passwords to anyone who asks politely. [Ars Technica]