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  • Writer's pictureChris Stein, CFP®

Social Security Drops Cell Phone Requirement

Let today’s post be a lesson in staying up to date with Social Security rules and regulations.  Readers of last week’s post learned that the Social Security Administration began requiring a cell phone to which they can send a text message with a code in order to access your online Social Security account.  This rule went into full force on July 30th, 2016.  As I write this on August 15th, 2016 we have learned that this cell phone requirement has been REMOVED.

The problem

Too many people, particularly seniors, were not comfortable with this form of two-factor authentication.  Many seniors lack the ability to receive text messages and many of those who can are uncomfortable using their phone for this purpose.  This had the effect of locking too many people out of their accounts.

Option still exists

Even though the SSA has removed the REQUIREMENT to use this extra security step, it is still available to those who want to keep it.  If you are comfortable with this technology, we (and the SSA) recommend you continue using it.  It does add a significant deterrent to those who may try to gain access to your account. New options coming

The SSA announced their intent to still pursue other ways of enhancing the security of their online portal.  We will announce these new “features” on this blog as they are released, so stay tuned for more updates!

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