I received an email from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling me that starting in August, I would have to pass an additional authentication step before I could log on to ssa.gov/myaccount. They will ask for my text-enabled cell phone number, then will text me a one-time security code that I must enter in addition to my username and password.
Thereafter, each time I log on with username and password, they will send me a new one-time security code to my cell phone.
According to SSA, every federal agency that provides online access to a “customer’s personal information must use multifactor authentication.” Be prepared for a similar message from Medicare, the Railroad Retirement Board, DFAS and Tricare, the IRS, the US Copyright Office, and every one else you can think of.
If the feds are doing it, it won’t be long before the states implement similar processes.
It’s a good thing I don’t have a burner, that I have unlimited texting, and that my old eyes can still read that tiny screen.
The SSA web site, like Medicare, already is not user-friendly, at least in my experience and opinion. The only easy-to-use federal site I’ve ever found was the site for completing an annual tax return for a non-profit corporation, and that was likely because the site was run by a contractor, and not the government directly.
I seriously question the effectiveness of this system. It sounds, smells, feels, and quacks like something that was implemented “because we can.” Apothegm for today: “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.”
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.