209 thoughts on “Update to New Online Security

  1. Thank you. I will happily add another step to improve security. But not one that requires a cell phone which I don’t have. The fact that you heard and responded cheers me. :-)))

          • Great Response Jim Borland!
            Major banks/Credit Card Co.’s have for years sent secondary authentication codes to landlines for online access whenever you would change browsers or clear out your cookies, or logged on with a new device.
            This works well and I’m pleased that you listened to the consensus of opinions.

    • Again SS is not paying attention. You need to have the backup plan in place for people who do not have text capable cell phones BEFORE you put the onerous plan in place. Is there no one over the age of 50 with the common sense to figure that one out.

      • Hi Tim. We listened to the public’s concerns. We are responding by removing the requirement to use a cell phone to access mySocialSecurity. While it is not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. Thanks!

          • Hi Barb, there should be an extra security option on the sign-up screen. If you are already signed up, go to the message center and select “Update Preferences” and then select “Update Security Settings”. If you continue having difficulties, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Thanks!

        • Ray –
          It’s nice that you pat yourself on the back for listening to the public, but the SSA should have known what a massive failure it would be to expect all their customers to have a texting plan. This poor multifactor system should never have made it off the drawing board.
          It deeply concerns me how little the SSA knows its customers.
          I’ll bet no one lost their job over this. In my IT sector, we could call this a “resume-generating incident”.

          • I heartily agree with you David. In my job, I am required to “do my homework:” before I attempt a plan of action. I have read that the SSA is now sending out 1.5 million emails each day to SSA account holders to notify them of the rollback in the authentication process. How much taxpayer money is that going to require? How much are all of us SSA account holders, as well as non-account holders, going to pay for just one more federal government botched implementation of yet another uncalled-for executive order?

        • The other real problem with what you implemented is that it DID NOT WORK. you sent the text code but the web page gave no way to input the code and only gave you the choice to cancel. It did not work. Calling help only said ‘it sometimes works’. This shows whoever you paid good $ to to design, implement, test this feature FAILED and should pay you back. Do it right next time.

    • I agree with Karen. That cell-phone routine is very, really quite complicated for private individuals. Is there some other way to secure, like, secured e-mail back and forth, or, USPS mail to the recipient confirmation?

      • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

  2. The group (say ages 50+) who have the most need for this site is also the same group least familiar with cell phones and texts. While I applaud extra security, the text methodology is NOT the way to accomplish it. I am so happy you heard our dissatisfaction with this idea and hope you will come up with an effective way to implement the extra security level.

  3. I don’t use a cell phone. Pulse i wonder if this is just another Obama way of keeping track of us. Don;t trust or like him.

      • Good point! Not that it’s any of my business, but I doubt that you’re an idiot, at all. Strange that the left leaning folk are so prone to name calling and commenting when they have no business doing either.

        • Pardon me. The right has its militant base who can be cantankerous and viscious evidence by physical attacks witnessed at Trump rallies.

          • That were payed for by HRC and DNC. Not a bad pay day 1500 bucks to cause trouble at the rallies as the emails show

      • The old farts are idiots. They worship Trump and follow his example in blaming everyone else for any trump-up reasons. They do not have enough intelligent to know what is good for them.

      • Obuma isn’t going to be with us within time, so don’t worry what that loser wants to do because he prefers to play golf.

        • Obama isn’t going away. Hillary will appoint him to Supreme Court Judge or as Head of Home Land Security, or Secretary of State so he can negotiate more horrible deals with Arab countries. He will have this country accept millions more Muslims until Americans are a minority. Once that happens, say good-bye to our Constitution and hello to Sharia Law. Wake up and see the future.

          • I think, if fact, I’m sure this is evil from Obama (lower case deliberate) I don’t trust him and he and hilarious should be jailed forever.

      • President Obama has less than 5 months left in office. I am not in fear of Obama…it’s the idiots that are born and raised in America. Americans embarrass our country by writing junk like this on a informative website. May are showing their breed and lack respect for themselves. Just looking outside the box, try it sometimes and you will learn beyond ignorance.

    • I think SSA is just trying to help make our online accounts less easily accessed by the wrong people. Good for them – and good for them that they have listened to we “seniors” who don’t perhaps have a cell phone/text access. And why are we now making this a political issue too? Can’t we just accept SSA’s notice for what it is and stop the ridiculous name-calling?

  4. Why would it take 6 months to add an e-mail option? Seems like a minor change.
    Many, many companies already do this. Google it and find out how.

  5. Thank you. I’m happy to see that there is security in my account. Thank you for your hard work keeping it secure. 🙂

  6. Please give Americans living abroad the ability to create an online social security account. At the moment, anyone without a US address is denied this.

    • i agree we are supposed to have the same rights as Americans living in the US. in my case i live in mexico for economic reasons

      • American expats now cannot even access the SSA web site because it denies access through a foreign server. And assuming that problem is resolved, SSA does not allow a foreign cell phone number in your profile to which a code can be sent. SSA denies the existence of American expats!

  7. People who are inconvenienced or restricted by multifactor authentication should be made to simply accept the fact that they will have less security.
    Those of us who can handle multifactor should be given it, for better security.

    • You’ve always had the option for multifactor authorization by cell phone. Are you using it? The objection was made to forcing everyone to have a cell phone and texting plan.

    • Multifactor can be accomplished using email, too. Heck, if one is accessing his my Social Security account, he is already online – and therefore he can check his email a few moments later to get the code to complete the sign on.

      We need to have a good balance between using multifactor to keep our personal information as secure as possible and a way to access that personal information. The requirement for a cell phone with text capability only does not meet that balancing requirement.

  8. It’s not true that “multifactor authentication inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders.” It was the SSA’s implementation of multifactor authentication that caused the inconvenience. Other ways to implement multifactor authentication could have included sending the codes by email or automated phone calls to landlines. Next time, try talking with your users and not making one-sided decisions that will cost taxpayers additional money to rollback and re-engineer.

    • I can’t help but wonder if the research that concluded an OVERWHELMING majority of us use cell phones was done by *ahem young people taking the latest technologies for granted? A few years ago I went back to college in my forties, and was constantly frustrated by its publications using the tiniest font possible with as little contrast between font and background as possible, too! The young ‘uns need to unglue themselves from their screens, and actually see the wonderful, vibrant world around them. Doing so just might save their lives one day, too!?!

      • Additionally, did that research include the Deaf and DeafBlind communities along with related communities sharing significant hearing loss and speech disabilities? I don’t know of too many deaf/Deaf/DeafBlind having cell phones … and I am a member of this huge community, too. Sheesh.

      • I gave SS my Cell Phone Number and set it up. It worked just fine. Now SS changes its mind. I sign in, the cell phone verification does not work and I am back to square one. Your letter made it sound like the Cell Phone EXTRA SECURITY was still in effect and it is NOT! Is my SS information REALLY SECURE????

        • That’s great and you will be able to continue to use the extra security that text messages afford you but, for those of us that don’t have cell phones or just don’t want to use them for verification, it should be optional.

        • We appreciate your comments Richard. The my Social Security service has always had a robust verification and authentication process, and it remains safe and secure. We strive to balance security and customer service options – a large part of our stewardship responsibility is to keep data secure – and we want to ensure that our online services are both easy to use and secure. Our aggressive implementation of a one-time code sent via text message inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We are developing an alternative authentication option in addition to text messaging that we will implement within the next six months. The best way to protect 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. We hope this information is helpful.

    • Ms. Young says, “Next time, try talking with your users and not making one-sided decisions that will cost taxpayers additional money to rollback and re-engineer.”
      That’s an excellent point. However,Ms. Young is perhaps too young to have learned that is not the “guvmint” way.

  9. Thank you. I am a retired engineer who worked 45 years in Telecommunications; however I do not text and I suspect the majority of people my age do not text. So thanks for responding to concerns and for pursuing an alternative to achieve a level of security that we all want.

    • I totally agree….most seniors do not text or even have a cell phone that accepts text msgs. Hopefully they can implement e-mail as the means for receiving the code. But really glad they rescinded the mandated requirement for cell phones!

      • I also thank you. I’m another senior who does not text. It was distressing to think that I would have to pay for that service in order to have an online SS account.

    • Myron, I’m 52 years removed from entering the information age, 16 years on Social Security. I text, as do probably the vast majority of my friends of the same age. I would not be so rash, however, as to jump to any conclusion as to what the majority of people our age do or do not do so far as texting is concerned. That would require looking at real data.

  10. So the President has issued an Executive Order (one of many) on “Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions.” Assuming this is beneficial, we could have used another one entitled “Improving the Security of the United States by Cabinet Members Using Personal Servers.” Granted, the personal servers were supposed to be illegal, but the old story is “move along, nothing to see here……”

    • I am not a Hillary supporter, however she did what the previous Secretary of State did in using a personal cell phone. If you can recall when Mr. Obama went into office they wanted him to not even use a cell phone let alone use social media or e-mail. He was the 1st POTUS to use this sort of technology. Sec. Hillary was only the 2nd one in her position to use a cell phone and she just followed what the previous one had done. Now from this experience, the IT advisors know how to be more secure.

      • Susan I strongly recommend that you look at the server problem hillary had and not any cell phone issue. What she did has never been done to the publics knowledge, as it is illegal

  11. I am the Executive Director of the McMinnville Housing Authority in McMinnville, TN. We currently have 118 head of households, age 62+ living in our low-rent public housing here. There are many seniors that are not the head of the household living in our public housing too. Very few of them have the ability to send or receive text messages. Many have the free emergency phone but they only know how make limited calls. Maybe in big cities the seniors can receive a text message but that is not the case in our rural area here. What is the alternate solution?

    • At least they listened to the complaints. They should have actually researched the issue instead of assuming that everyone had cell phones or ones that were text enabled. Many on SS have a very low and limited income and cannot afford an extra expense of a cell phone. Some states offer a free cell phone for emergencies, or even one with a limited plan. Many aged SS receivers do not wish to add this technology to complicate their lives. My father-in-law in his 80’s added a computer, but receives maybe one e-mail every few weeks and refills his prescriptions through the computer, but that is all he uses it for. We got him a flip cell phone, but he was never comfortable using a landline due to hearing loss. This is not something many seniors wish to add to complicate their lives.
      There are other ways to use multifactor authentication without using a cell phone. My bank uses my landline to call and give me a code to enter into the computer.

      They , SS administrators need to get out there in the real world and understand the population they serve. They need to research before rolling out something a large majority cannot access.

      • Thank you very much for your post. It should be logical that we write for humans, but it’s easy to fall in the over optimization trap. In this day and age when businesses live and die by their position in Google and with so much competition; falling into one or more of the categories listed above is quite common. Thanks for reminding us that there are consequences to pay for our little SEO &#s2;02sin8”

    • We won’t know they have acted on them until we see for ourselves that they have done it. Right now nothing new has been done.

      • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

  12. I am glad for this news, and await to hear what the alternative option will be – hopefully and most certainly preferably email address.

  13. So, in other words I don’t get to use my social security account online because I do not have a cell phone. Thank you so much for your consideration in imputing this stupid requirement..

    What you should do is have the option.. cell phone text or email message. For people to choose which option they want to use.

    I just cannot believe people that sit behind a desk in a government office just make these kind of decisions. It just goes to show how out of touch government officials are.

    Thank you for the ability to log in … in the past… to view my social security account information… but I will no longer be able to do so..

    I am using an email with this post, but I do not know if it is the one I have with my online account.. It might be, but I have not bothered to try to log in to find out..

    Please let me know if you people ever come around to reality and reconsider this stupid decision to block people from using their online account.

    • That is what this post says, they have cancelled this cell phone text access policy due to the complaints. Initially they should have researched and realized that there was a large majority of people who did not have this option, could not afford it, did not want to use the technology etc.

  14. I tried to put my cell phone in and hit the appropriate area to give me to the page to put my number in, however, the page never opened. That is the problem with getting the code from my cell phone to activate my site at the SS website. I emailed them about this but they give me the same site that will not open up for me. Can I do it by email? Please let me know as they keep sending the same info that doesn’t work for me.

    • Hello Judith! If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  15. The OBAMA administration spent millions of our tax dollars to figure out this wonderful Texting Plan. So now it’s going to spend millions more to figure out another Plan. Meanwhile after spending all this tax money we get No Cola Raise for SS. Thanks again Obama.

    • Hi Carl. We listened to the public’s concerns. We are responding by removing the requirement to use a cell phone to access your personal “my Social Security” account. While it is not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. Thanks!

  16. I am going to keep saying this hoping that somebody will read my comment and maybe revisit the subject of online accessibility for American who live overseas and have no current US address. I think multifactor authentification is great, but I can not see how type of address will add or subtract from account security.
    Please take a look at this unfair exclusion, of not permitting people with no US address to enjoy benefits of online access to their accounts. Thank you.

    • You are 100% correct. Why is it that my credit card companies and US banks will accept my overseas cell phone number for authentication but the My SS system only accepts 10 digit phone numbers so it is impossible to include the country code with the cell number? Surely there is a quick fix for this, that is, unless they are TRYING to exclude overseas My SS account holders.

    • Hi Fahmi! We want to assure you that we are constantly exploring ways and working hard to improve the services we offer. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  17. Sad to say in this day and age that where I live we do not have cell phone service. So to us cell phones are no good. No service No phone

    • I’ve already brought this defect to the SSA. I’ve also brought this defect to the attention of my US Senator. Perhaps more non-cell phone users need to do the same.

  18. As long as your require the use of a cell-phone the new system is defective. [Thousands of users are now no longer able to use the online system.] What about land-line users? What about the use of an e-mail address? If the latter two methods are acceptable to major banks and brokerage firms, it should be acceptable to Social Security.

  19. It is very disturbing that you are considering only those with phones that have texting capabilities as a security measure. What are those of us who don’t have “smart phones” and don’t have texting capability are going to do to get into our accounts?

    I agree that you spend all this money putting something in place that lots of seniors who are older don’t have the capability to do, or are not able to understand what it all means.

    It would be far better to put that money towards an increase in our S.S. checks which certainly don’t even come close to covering all our expenses and are sometimes the only incomes we have! Rather a waste of your and our time and our money!!!

  20. It’s great that the text response MFA has been rolled back. Several folks advocate email. Both text and email have similar problems – forcing a use of a separate application (email) or device (text). Additional authentication can be far more simply and easily achieved by allowing users to compose a series of 1 sentence challenge questions and answers in their user profiles. These would not be canned questions that the IT departments chooses. Another option is choosing a graphic from a substantial group, one of which was selected by each user and recorded in their profiles. These all allow good challenge/response security options without forcing ‘out of band’ multi-factor authentication.

    • I looked up the basic definition of multifactor authentication which is “a method of computer access control in which a user is only granted access after successfully presenting several separate pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism – typically at least two of the following categories: knowledge (something they know); possession (something they have), and inherence (something they are).”

      It seems that MFA doesn’t take place with either the challenge questions or use of graphics when the user enters log on credentials since all represent the “knowledge” category. I can see where SSA came up with the cell phone requirement as that met the “possession” thus MFA is correctly implemented. Unfortunately as we have all seen, too many of us do not have cell phones with text capability for this cell phone requirement to be realistic.

      Using email address to send the code should satisfy the “possession” category. After all, smart phones can launch both the browser and the email client in addition to serving as “a cell phone with text capability.”

      It would be interesting to see what solution SSA comes up with.

      • As for the “inherence” category, this is satisfied by “some physical characteristic of the user (biometrics), such as a fingerprint, eye iris, voice, typing speed, pattern in key press intervals, etc.”

        This category could not be satisfied in this situation since that would require biometric scanners in addition to the varying transmission speeds of packets through the Internet. Not only that, but I would not consent to installing software on my end to monitor and transmit keystroke activity regardless of whoever has the reins of government at the moment. /wink

        • I was thinking of typing speed and such when referring to how packets may travel through the Internet and how long each packet takes. I am sure a programming solution can be arrived at to account for this, but that seems to me “programming for programming’s sake not adding any real value …” – and again I would not install such software on my machines. Nah.

      • > Using email address to send the code should satisfy the “possession” category.

        An email account has to be set up. It is tangible – and under the control of the accountholder.

        A compromised email account is like having the cell phone stolen. Same difference.

        • We appreciate your comments. We listened to the public’s concerns. We are responding by removing the requirement to use a cell phone to access your personal my Social Security account. While it is not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. Thanks!

          • Arthur Schwarz’s post below indicates use of email address is problematic according to NIST standards for OOB and 2FA authentication. Given this, it would be interesting to see what solution SSA eventually comes up with.

  21. Thank you so much for changing this. I cannot get any cellphone reception from my home, so am looking forward to your new authentication procedures that hopefully include a phone call to my home line that DOES work.

    • Hi Sharon. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account, while we continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  22. It’s simple, they monitor all cell phones routinely, and the layer of security refers to theirs, not your, it gives them another layer of spying on the people of America,they need to keep their fingers on the web as a spider, to react in defense against a government by the people, for the people they need to spend their time on fixing social security, and simple put back the money they sole from all of us~!, it would be more than a solvent account, able to do what it was designed to do, the only reason we have to deal with issues all the time, and not receive our cost of living every year[for those that earned it, not refugees and illegals~!] is because they continue to steal from it, I can’t wait to get a president, and congress and senate, that puts the American interest over all~!, we don’t want a global government, we have chosen the constitution as our rules.We don’t want a failed experiment, no socialism~!!my2¢

  23. Some of the people who posted either don’t speak or read English, or don’t comprehend the language. The post says they are stopping the cell phone texting security option until they can figure out something better in the next 6 months in response to the complaints, yet many posts are stilll complaining about it as if it were still happening. They should have involved those receiving SS by asking how many had cell phones or were able to receive texts, or were planning to do so, but they instead just everyone had cell phones and would be able to use this option. They need to get out in the real world and see that cell phones are not desired by a lot of people. Maybe the millenials are the majority who have all the latest technology, but how many of them have income to support their usage of the technology?

  24. I am unable to receive text message, therefore I never received the text for the advanced requirement for Social Security I.D. necessary for the new requirements.

    Thank you.

    William B. Gould

    • hi William. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  25. Thank you, Thank you for listening to us seniors who voiced are concern with texts. Suggestions: email an authentication or an automated phone call authentication. Our investment firm has two options – texting an authentication code OR an automated phone call giving me an authentication code to enter. The phone call works well for us – we do not have texting.

  26. To Kimberly Byrd, CPA office of the Controller

    Why have not you written us for you investigation
    as to why were were not paid our worth and were
    paid pennies on the dollar on our claim.
    should be paid 15000 a month. Please answer us.

    • Hi Fermina, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Also, you can call your local Social Security office directly and explain your situation. Thanks!

  27. Absolutely ridiculous to send a text only to cell phones when you do not have access to all clients’ cell phones. (Of COURSE I did not get any such text.) Even more ridiculous to require use of cell phones for client access. Most of your clients by definition are 60 and up. One wonders which rocket scientist came up with this system.

    • Hi Marvin. We listened to the public’s concerns. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your personal my Social Security account. While it is not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. Thanks!

  28. Glad to rolled this back. I’m 73, do NOT have a cell phone & do not want one and will not be getting one. So come up with a system that keeps in mind who you are currently dealing with, not 20 years olds!!.
    .

  29. I tried to sign in to blog and was told to use a valid email. I don’t know what that means, but I gave a valid email.
    Not surprised, soc sec has never done anything right in my years of experience. I gave up dealing with ss long ago…………….Roger S Pimpo

  30. Info SSA put up when starting to enforce the cell phone text requirement: ‘Our research shows that an overwhelming majority of American adults have cell phones and use them for texting. Because of technical and resource constraints, we are not currently able to offer alternative methods of satisfying this security requirement.’ Not sure how they got their research but obviously NOT from the people actually using this website! Maybe overwhelming majority of adults under 40 years old have cell phones and use them for texting, but certainly not those old enough to get social security, and the ability to text will diminish as people get older, even if they have cell phones. I am SO glad they actually listened and backed off that requirement just two weeks after it started to be enforced. Thank you for listening to us. Please offer the extra security via e-mail or landline phone option as well as cell phone text before enforcing that new requirement again.

  31. Many systems also can send a voice message to your landline so a cell phone isn’t needed. This process they are using is actually 2 step verification, not multi-factor authentication which is entirely different.

  32. This text message is not going to work for me as I don’t own a cell phone. So, I guess I will no longer be able to access this account. There has to be a better way to access my account than this and don’t assume that we all have all of the modern electronics!

    • You spoke, we listened. We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account, while we continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  33. What do you know!!! They actually listened to the public!!! Goes to show how sticking together can solve situations….WITHOUT VIOLENCE!!!!.

    • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

  34. Obama want to take away guns from the mentally ill on Social Security disability. If the SSA does the same thing as the Veteran Administration and put people on the FBI background check, will those people receive benefits for life like the VA does for it’s people. Will you get your rights back once you are off disability. How about the people who already own a gun? Will the FBI take away their guns? Will those people get reimburse the cost of their gun?

    I can see disaster about to happen in the future. A mental I’ll patient goes to buy a gun, but they are denied. They get so mad that they go and buy a stolen gun off the street and start shooting people. They can buy a stolen gun anywhere. It would be hard to track the ballistic on the gun because it is stolen.

    If the mentally ill had a registered gun, then the FBI could come and knock on their door.

    • So many people are shot everyday with stolen guns and never caught. The SSA would increase the demand for stolen guns by the mentally ill. The stolen gun dealers won’t need to sell their guns and export it to Mexico. They got people to buy them here in the US.

    • The police are already being shot at by military veterans. Now they have to watch out for the mental ill people on SSDI/SSI who thinks the police is coming to take away their guns that they paid for.

  35. Thank you for removing the mandatory use of a text system (that I and many other users do not have) for this verification process. with all of the other methods available such as security questions etc. I could see no need for this added barrier. If the additional security mode will use the online website it should be compatible with everyone’s capabilities.
    Thank you for rethinking the secondary system.

    • We appreciate your comments Mike. The my Social Security service has always had a robust verification and authentication process, and it remains safe and secure. We strive to balance security and customer service options – a large part of our stewardship responsibility is to keep data secure – and we want to ensure that our online services are both easy to use and secure. Our aggressive implementation of a one-time code sent via text message inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We are developing an alternative authentication option in addition to text messaging that we will implement within the next six months. Thanks!

  36. With or without the added security of texts/emails, I have not been able to access my account for over a month. Waited on hold for over an hour twice, when someone finally answered she put me on hold to check on something and the system kicked me into the survey. So I called back, another hour wait and the woman who answered said the system was down. Have been on hold today for 30 min already. Have to go catch the bus soon. Maybe you need to hire more people to answer the phones. Working people don’t usually have an hour or two to wait on hold.

  37. Please don’t let this reversal of the TEXTING requirement be real and not another OBAMA flim/flam SCAM to abuse our tax dollars needlessly.

  38. Dear SSA, I did not have a cell phone because I am extremely nervous. Due to chronic anxiety and social phobia I cannot have a cell phone because of all kinds of unexpected calls that I cannot handle. Every time I had a call my anxiety would just spike for the rest of the day or two. The cell phone requirement was really making me very anxious having a cell phone in order to access my SSA account online. Not to mention I cannot afford one, and the free phone I don’t want it either. Thank you for removing this requirement.

  39. I wish to add one more voice thanking SSA for rethinking the cell phone requirement. But I still face a problem because I live currently outside the US. As has been pointed out previously, it is impossible to supply a phone number that does not fit the 3-3-4 pattern, so my Swiss phone is of no use in this context. I do have a US phone, but I am charged for every text message it receives here, with extra roaming charges tacked on as well. The next step for SSA is to acknowledge that not all its beneficiaries live within the bounds of the US/Canadian phone system. If my credit union can do it, so can SSA.

  40. When are we who live abroad going to be able to have a MySocialSecurity account online? It is so hard to communicate with SSA from overseas.
    Thanks,

    • We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your feedback Ardsley. We assure you that we are continuously working to improve the Social Security online services that we offer via our website http://www.ssa.gov. Remember, for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits, while living abroad; please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate. In addition, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. Thanks.

  41. Why can SS not use a verbal numeric code on a land line or email like many other institutions. Give a choice between mobile, landline, or email.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Stan, we removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

      • Ray, you or whoever the idiot who implemented the texting requirement should have thoroughly researched the issue and foreseen the impact your so-called “multifactor authentication” would have on those of us senior citizens your agency is supposed to serve, and who pay for your salary! Hope you and whoever came up with such idiotic idea are having CROW for supper with their families!!!

        • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

  42. Thanks for returning access to the 73% of elders over 65 who don’t have smart phones. Since you notified us by email that we would no longer be able to access our accounts, I would recommend you also be proactive and notify everyone by email that they now have access again. Don’t rely on them somehow learning this by osmosis or reading a blog they probably don’t know exists.

  43. Presidential Executive orders = plans without congress.
    This thing is another fail attempt as with any national planning failure like Affordable healthcare acts, along with numerous others this president implemented.

  44. Isn’t there someway you can delete the comments that do not relate to the issue? I really like to read the comments but it is very burdensome when you must scroll through so many that do not even pertain to the actual article.

    Thank you

  45. Online Security does not matter because the Socialist Security System will still use outdated rules to justify it’s outright discrimination against certain people. It doesn’t matter if you live inside or outside the US, the Socialist Security system can’t even fix an outdated “RULE” that they use to justify discrimination against physically disabled people.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

  46. please tell me how i do to get my own ssa ,am current resident in san francisco california states ,street adress Lake Hills 94118 phone number 2086438415 .Thank you for our help and support

  47. I cannot get logged into my account anyway.

    I am presently unable to visit a social security office

    Each time I request a new password via the sign-in, the response is unable etc.. contact your local social security office.

    A new temporary password to my email address would be appreciated.

    • Hi Jack, if you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, and cannot visit your local Social Security office, try calling our 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. We hope this helps.

  48. Unbelievable that you screwed up this badly or at all with something so basic as MFA. There are many many ways to “add an additional layer of security” – first of all you dont give users only 1 option. Complete failure. Next time and whenever this “temporary backout” ends, please also give users more than 1 day notice. Also, please fire the PM who was in charge of this – which I am sure wont happen.

    • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

  49. My problem is that even though I have a cell phone and am willing to do the extra security, I am in a dillemma about the added security options.
    1: I don’t have a credit card and only use a debit card/
    2: I am on SSDI and so I don’t get a 1099 or a W2 and haven’t for more than the required 5 years previous.
    3: I am obviously not self employed.

    With this, there is no way to add the extra security even if I wanted. So will there be other options for someone like me who really want to continue to access our accounts?

    • Update! We removed the requirement to use a cell phone to access your #mySocialSecurity account. While it’s not mandatory, we encourage those of you who have a text capable cell phone to take advantage of this optional extra security, which has always been available. We continue to pursue more options beyond cell phone texting. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. http://bit.ly/20nvsaI

  50. There must be an expanded services extended to members claimants outside the usa. Contacting the system outside the us is really a problem. I got problem with my benefits and I am outside the country. I need to talk to somebody but all I heard as voice recorder. I don’t believe somebody will call me back within 48 hours if I leave my name and phone number. If it is existing then make a reply to this message.

  51. If SSA wants me to text to them maybe they should give all of us a phone and pay our bill every month but don’t take it from our SS. What a bunch of dumbies

  52. I would like to add this extra security, but your validation requirements do not include options available to me. I don’t have a recent W-2 form. I’ve been retired for over five years and no longer receive them. I don’t have a the other tax form either and your system cannot confirm my credit card numbers. I spoke with one of your agents today and was told he could not activate this for me, that I would have to do it on line. So what am I to do? Other organizations that do this just have you enter your cell phone number and then they call to verify it. If that isn’t secure enough, how secure is this process?

    • Great question, Wayne. Thank you for your comment. We take protecting the public’s personal information very seriously. All of our online applications use an identity verification process to protect the privacy of your identity and your Social Security information. Using our online services to file for benefits is safe and secure. In addition, our goal is to provide helpful information to as many people as possible. Sometimes, we use Facebook ads, like this one, to share this information with millions of people and provide you quick and convenient access. Our ads are legitimate and trustworthy.

      Creating a mySocialSecurity account is safe and secure. You can create an account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. Thank you for signing up for an account with us!

      • This didn’t answer my question. How do I activate the extra security so that my cell phone is called whenever I or anyone else attempts to log into my account. I am unable to use the three options provided by your system to verify my identity when trying to sign up for the extra security. So HOW CAN I GET IT STARTED?

        • Finally got an answer from another phone call to SSA. After going to great pains to help, unsuccessfully, one of your agents advised me to try my local SSA office. I called them today and was told to bring some ID to the office and they can activate the multifactor authentication (text to cellphone) option for me. I was very happy to finally learn that SSA had implemented this capability and that I can now get it implemented on my account.

          • We appreciate your feedback Wayne. Thank you for your support!

  53. A second level of security is great, but the whole idea is to send the code to the email id on record. If you allow the user to select ANY email id to receive the code, you have NOT, repeat NOT, added any more security, only the appearance of same.

  54. email and text messages are NOT secure. They are sent un-encrypted and can be intercepted by a third party. Second factor authentication is a great Idea but this is NOT the way to do it. Try again! In the mean time, I can’t (won’t) log in!

    • We apologize for any inconvenience, George. If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  55. I think this is a useful post and it is exceptionally valuable and learned. along these lines, I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article.
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  56. I tried to enroll in my account but signing in, it would NOT let me type the “.com” portion of my username/-why not? It wiuld NOT let me go any further—why not? I do not have time
    to waste!!

    • We’re sorry that you’re having difficulties accessing your my Social Security account, Sally.
      If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  57. I have been knocked off line by SS, they will not help me get back on line, everything was good up till a month ago .what is going on with the SS? there response go to the nearest Office and get it fixed. spend the day there. there fault u pay the price.

  58. SS tells me my account i have had since i signed up CANT B FOUND. This is there problem not mine, and I’m told to come to one of there offices and sit there for a day. LOL

  59. I did not receive my February payment (approx. $1,880.10) and a message indicated I was notified 3 times to change profile information? I changed my password on 12/17/2017 using the code sent to me which was 39421569. I made no other changes and received my benefit amount promptly on January 2018. But not for February. I’ve made no other changes.

  60. I have created an account with social security ity previously using a different email or user ID how do I get into my account now if I do not know them

    • If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  61. I forgot the email address I used to set up my social sercurity account. I have a new email address. I was wanting to put that down. I also forgot. My user name and my pass word to I don’t know what to do. I punched forgot user name and it tells me to put the email address in but if I don’t remember that how can i put it in. I don’t know what to do.

  62. We don’t have an account with sis you keep texting us there money in account this been going on 4 years and we call sis office to stop it nothing happened this needs to stop

  63. I am unable to get into my social security account. I am not sure when I set it up exactly but I may have a new email address and that could be what is causing the trouble. How can I get a new account set up?

  64. I have made many attempts to change username and password using the security code etc – have tried and have been shut out several times……
    Please advise as to how to resolve this please

  65. I try to do it …change address
    GEORGE MUNTEAN
    TEREZIA MUNTEA
    2281 Ursula way
    Roseville, Ca. 95661

    to
    GEORGE MUNTEAN
    TEREZIA MUNTEAN
    3614 Bankhead rd.
    Loomis, Ca. p5650

    • We’re sorry to hear you’re having trouble accessing your account, Sandy.
      If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  66. I cannot recall my username or password. Im trying to apply for a replacement card. I cant get into my account to do my app.

    • Hello Deonna, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page on “Password & Login Problems”. If you are still having trouble accessing your my Social Security account, please call our dedicated my Social Security-Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”. Sometimes, you may have to contact your local Social Security office.
      To see if you’re eligible to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card, please visit our “Social Security Number and Card” web page.
      We hope this information helps!

  67. I got a forum for a review of my benefits. I lost the paper work and need to get another one. Anyway to have another one mailed to me. Or print out the form?

    • Hello Shelley, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  68. Your two-layer security is crap. I have wasted immense amounts of time on you people. And I’m sick of it. Sending me another letter via mail, with a code, for which I have to wait for than a week won’t cut it.

    I CANNOT GET CELL PHONE SERVE WHERE I LIVE (on the Canadian border, where cell phones have to be set so that Canadian cell towers don’t interfere.) We’re hardly the only people in the country that applies to. What universe do you people live in?

    If you want to send a code to my home phone, fine. But not to a cell phone. I NEED to get into my account, and I can’t wait more than a week to do it.

    I would appreciate if some live and at least mildly sentient human being would reply to this/ fix this situation.

    • If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  69. The questions to open my social security account are ridiculous. An example; Name of the company that you paid off a loan in 1998. The answer was a company that bought out a company that bought out the company I owed the loan to. How am I supposed to keep up with that. Experian didn’t even have this loan listed on my credit report. I had to research all of the answers to discover who the company way. This is insane!

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