by P.J. DiNuzzo August 30, 2016
The Social Security Administration has tightened security in order to prevent hackers and identity thieves. Now, when you log into your Social Security Administration account, you do what you've always done: give your user name and password. Then you receive a security code sent by text message, and type in that code to complete your login procedure. In the cyber security trade, this is known as multi-factor authentication.
The result is better security, and a big hassle for some users. On the first day, Verizon customers weren't getting their security codes; the problem has since been fixed. Many older Americans don't text on their phones, which means they'll either have to learn or do without their SSA account. At the same time, multi-factor authentication doesn't prevent cyber criminals from fraudulently creating an online account in your name, and siphoning away your benefits.
Your response? If you don't already have an account with the Social Security Administration, now would be a good time to open one, before a thief decides to do it for you. Here's a direct link: https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do . And if you aren't into texting, now is a good time to get familiar with that feature of your smart phone. If you're having trouble, ask a teenager for some quick tech support.
P.J. DiNuzzo, CPA, PFS®, AEP®, AIF®, MBA, MSTx
President, Founder, and Chief Investment Officer