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Here’s what you should know about the “my Social Security” program

Posted on June 15, 2017

The US Social Security Administration (SSA) has been evaluating and improving its social security protections and ease of use. As a result of new consumer research and updated technical support, Social Security has a more robust cyber security program to help protect your personal information. The program is also easier to use on multiple platforms and devices.

“That’s great news for consumers,” says Barry Sapurstein, a CPA with Teipen Selanders Poynter & Ayres. “Since the program called my Social Security became available in 2012, more than 30 million people have created accounts. It’s a very popular program.”

On June 10, 2017, the Social Security Administration will add a second method to check your identification when you sign in to your “my Social Security” account. This is in addition to the first layer of security, your username and password.

“Using two ways to identify you when you log on will help better protect your account from unauthorized use and potential identity fraud, notes Sapurstein.

Right now, you don’t have to do anything new to take advantage of this new process. But do make sure you remember your username and password. Then, when you sign in on or after June 10, you will be able to choose either your cell phone or your email address as your second identification method.

From this point forward, each time you sign in to your account, you will complete two steps:

Step 1: Enter your username and password.

Step 2: Enter the security code, which will be sent to you by text message or email, depending on your choice.

If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone, or you do not wish to provide your cell number, you can choose your email address as a contact method. The SSA will then send you a one-time security code to access your account.

In addition to these security enhancements, the SSA has also upgraded the look and feel of my Social Security. The new portal will automatically change its size based on the size of the screen and kind of device you are using – such as a tablet, smart phone, or computer. No matter what type of device you choose, you will now have full, easy-to-use access to your personal account.

TSPA encourages you to access your my Social Security account (especially if you have not yet signed up), review your social security history, and initiate this second tier of safety. It’s good information to have — and protect.