Social Security is committed to protecting your identity and information. We often say that our online services are convenient, cost-effective, and secure to use.
We know that in certain instances, like for victims of domestic violence, completely blocking access to your information may be necessary. If you are a victim of domestic violence, Social Security may be able to block access to the electronic record we keep on you. Our online Block Electronic Access service is a resource for those who need extra security. It’s also available to certain victims of identity theft. Continue reading →
Natural disasters bring out the best in people. The ever-present generosity of Americans is front and center right now, as we try to help the victims of the Louisiana flood. Millions have given their time and donated to the relief funds and charities.
Unfortunately, times like these also bring out people looking to profit from others’ misfortune. For example, by creating fake charities and devising other ways to take advantage of donors. Continue reading →
Every year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name. Continue reading →
On July 30, 2016, Social Security began requiring new and current mySocial 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.
We’ve added an extra layer of security for our customers when they interact with us online. Now, mySocial Security account holders are required to use their cell phone — in addition to their username and password — as another authentication factor during online registration and every sign in. An authentication factor is information used to determine if someone is who they claim to be.
This extra layer of security is called “multifactor authentication” and complies with an executive order requiring federal agencies to provide more secure authentication for their online services. Any agency that provides online access to a customer’s personal information must now use multifactor authentication.
Since mySocial Security became available in May 2012, almost 26 million people have created an account. We have always offered multifactor authentication, but only for customers who opted for extra security. For your protection, we now require multifactor authentication for all mySocial Security users. To register and sign in, you must now enter a security code that we will send to your cell phone. Your cell phone provider’s text message and data rates may apply.
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. However, we may consider adding more options in the future. We appreciate your patience as we work continuously to secure your online information.
We’re committed to using the best technologies and standards available to protect our customers’ data. Multifactor authentication is just one of the ways we’re ensuring the safety and security of the resources entrusted to us. Visit mySocial Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to learn more about this helpful suite of online services, including additional details about our latest security measures.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is alerting people about the dangers of identity theft, specifically in instances where people have started an application for disability benefits. Scammers try to get personal information from applicants by pretending to help complete applications. For example, these scammers may ask you to give, or confirm, your Social Security number or bank account numbers.
Don’t become an identity theft or phishing victim. You can read the FTC’s advice on how to protect yourself while applying for benefits here.
Social Security is always finding new ways to provide world-class service. Social Security started receiving Service member, Veteran, and eligible family members medical records electronically from the Department of Defense (DoD) using health information technology (health IT) leveraging the eHealth Exchange. This latest improvement speeds processing times of disability applications. The disability case processing sites can receive medical records from DoD almost instantaneously.
The subject line says “Get Protected,” and the email talks about new features from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that can help taxpayers monitor their credit reports, and know about unauthorized use of their Social Security number. It even cites the IRS and the official-sounding “S.A.F.E Act 2015.” It sounds real, but it’s all made up.