Create a Social Security Account before a Hacker Does it for You
The Social Security Administration now requires a cell phone number for people who want to access their benefit information at SSA.gov.
When you log into your Social Security Administration account, you give your user name and password but then you receive a one-time security code sent by text message - and must type in that code to complete your login procedure. In the cybersecurity trade, this is known as multi-factor authentication.
While this has tightened security, it does not prevent identity thieves from fraudulently creating online accounts for people that haven’t already done so – potentially siphoning their benefits.
Create an Account Now
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 to set up an online Social Security Account.
We know it can be a big hassle for those of you who aren’t into texting, but now is a good time to get familiar with that feature of your phone.
No Cell Phone?
If you absolutely cannot set up an account online or handle text messages, you should at least contact the SSA and enable “extra security” which adds knowledge-based authentication to your online account. Security expert Brian Krebs mentions this option, but says that this will do little to stop a determined hacker - so you should also place a security freeze on your credit with all the major credit bureaus. Read more about this on Krebs' site.