Privacy & Identity

Update to New Online Security

August 15, 2016 • By

MFAOn July 30, 2016, Social Security began requiring new and current my Social Security account holders to sign into their account using a one-time code sent via text message. This second layer of security that requires more than a username and a password is known as “multifactor authentication.” We recently mandated this second layer of security to comply with the President’s Executive Order on Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions. We implemented it aggressively because we have a fundamental responsibility to protect the public’s personal information.

Our aggressive implementation resulted in some of our customers being unable to access their my Social Security accounts.  We listened to the public’s concerns, and have temporarily rolled back this mandate.

As before July 30, current account holders will be able to access their secure account using only their username and password. We highly recommend the extra security text message option, but it will not be required. Now, we are developing an alternative authentication option, besides text messaging, that we will implement within the next six months.

We strive to balance security and customer service options, and we want to ensure that our online services are both easy to use and secure. The best way to secure your information is to create a my Social Security account. If a person already has an account, a fraudulent attempt to create an account would be unsuccessful. The my Social Security service has always featured a robust verification and authentication process, and it remains safe and secure.

We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced. Open or access your personal my Social Security account today by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.


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Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

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