cell phone access Social Security
August 10, 2016 | by Chris Stein, CFP®, Finance Instructor at Colorado State University
Cell Phone Required to Access Social Security Account

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As of July 30th, the Social Security Administration requires people to have a cell phone attached to their online Social Security account to which the SSA can text a code in order to access your account.  This is a new security feature that was announced earlier this year.

Additional Layer of Security

The additional layer of security prevents someone from accessing your account simply by having your username and password.  In addition to those two things you will also have to supply the code sent to your cell phone in order to gain access to your mySocialSecurity account.  The SSA has supplied the following additional details describing this change.

  • – This change should increase the security of your account at the Social Security Administration
  • – If you do not have a cell phone that receives text messages you cannot currently access your account online
  • – If you do not have a cell phone, or do not want to use it for this purpose, you can call, write or visit the SSA in person to obtain information about your SSA account
  • – In the future they hope to add alternatives to the text messaging security system, but for now it is the only option
  • – If you plan to change cell phone numbers you will either have to maintain access to the old one to receive the code, or contact the SSA and request they mail you a reset code
  • – If you change phones but keep your number you should not have to change anything as long as the new phone receives text messages
  • – If you are overseas you can still access your account as long as your cell phone receives text messages while overseas

Small Step

Although this is a small step in achieving better security for your SSA account, I am happy they are doing something.  Based on the age of many of this country’s computer systems I am always nervous about a breach.  These sorts of 2-step authentication steps should help keep us all safer.

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