Fraud, Online Services, Privacy & Identity

Adding Additional Security to Protect What’s Important to You

May 4, 2017 • By

2 women on cell phone, 2 men on laptopSocial Security continues to evaluate and improve how we protect what’s important to you. We take this responsibility seriously, and we have a robust cyber-security program in place to help protect the personal information you entrust to us. Adding additional security measures to safeguard your personal information — but making them easy to use — is a vital part of keeping you safe and secure.

Beginning June 10, 2017, we will use a second method to check the identification of my Social Security account holders when they register or sign in. This is in addition to the first layer of security, a username and password. Right now, you don’t have to do anything for this new process. But you may want to sign in to your account to make sure you remember your username and password. Then, when you sign in on or after June 10, you will be able to choose either your cell phone or your email address as your second identification method. Using two ways to identify you when you log on will help better protect your account from unauthorized use and potential identity fraud.

Since my Social Security became available in May 2012, more than 30 million people have created an account. We have always offered this second layer of protection, but only for customers who opted to use it.

Last summer, we added a second way for us to check your identity when you registered or signed in to my Social Security. However, at that time, we only allowed the use of a cell phone as your second identification method. We listened to your concerns, and beginning on June 10, you can choose either your cell phone or your email address as the second way for us to identify you. Since an email address is already required to use my Social Security, everyone can continue to benefit from the features my Social Security provides.

We’re committed to using the best technologies and standards available to protect our customers’ data. This new security advancement is just one of the ways we’re ensuring the safety of the resources entrusted to us. If you plan to select email as your second method, you can ensure that the one-time security code email does not go into your spam or junk folder by adding NO-REPLY@ssa.gov to your contact list.

In addition to these security enhancements, we’ll also upgrade the look and feel of my Social Security, in an effort to create an enhanced customer experience. The my Social Security portal will automatically adjust to the size of the screen and kind of device you are using – such as a tablet, smart phone, or computer. No matter what type of device you choose, you will have full, easy-to-use access to your personal my Social Security account.

Our new my Social Security design puts you in control — whether you’re using a computer, smart phone, or tablet.


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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

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    Phone and email security codes are good, however they have flaws. When will you add a token based security option, using a standard Authenticator app or a Yubi Key?

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