Frauds & Scams, Online Services

Adding Additional Security to Protect What’s Important to You

May 4, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

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 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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Juli

  2. Anonymous

    Thank you for another magnificent post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.
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  3. Curious

    What or how does the extra security feature do or work? I received the code in the mail and I have seen where to plug it into the website, but what does it do and how does it work? Is it just a one time thing? How does it improve security over getting a text code each tome I sign in? There is no information explaining this. Just the option to do it.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Bryce, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for how the enhanced security works. We hope this helps.

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  7. Geraldine M.

    I took early social security at age 62.
    Now and I am 83 and I only receive $742. soc.sec.monthly.
    How can I update my social security to receive a higher amount?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Geraldine. Please keep in mind that we apply reduction factors to retirement benefits when you start receiving them prior to your full retirement age. The amount remains the same. However, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this help.

  8. Sammye

    Hello, I am needing to change my email address but do not find instructions. Please help.

  9. Brian a.

    My husband and I are both needing to add an extra security to our social security numbers due to be scammed. Can you please help us?

    • Ann C.

      Hi. Generally, identity theft issues are handled by the Federal Trade Commission. You can find more information on their website: or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). To learn more about the steps individuals can take to prevent or resolve issues of identity theft, read our publication, Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number. We hope this helps.

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