The Social Security Administration has announced a new online security update to its recently-launched mySocial Security program. If you or a loved one has a mySocial Security account, this information is important to you.
As of July 30, 2016, Social Security implemented "multi-factor authentication" to improve mySocial Security accounts.
Before July 30, the Social Security Administration had been offering text-message verification as an optional service for those who were concerned about keeping their online accounts extra-secure.
To comply with the President’s Executive Order on Improving the Security of Consumer Financial Transactions, text-message verification became required for all current and new accounts in the system.
However, the move caused many users to be locked out of their accounts.
Unfortunately, proponents of the move failed to take into account the fact that their primary userbase is the least likely of the US population to be familiar with texting or have a cell phone with a texting plan.
As a result, many active users of mySocial Security were inconvenienced or locked out of their accounts entirely.
As of August 15, 2016, the implementation has been rolled back and a more accessible authentication method is in development.
In response to public outcry, the Social Security Administration has announced that they are rolling back the mandate and working on an alternative solution to improve account security. A new, more accessible method of authentication is planned for implementation in the next six months.