- Is my information secure?
- How do you protect my information?
- What is extra security?
- How do I sign up for extra security?
- Why do I have to answer identity verification questions?
- Why are you asking for financial information?
- Can I apply in person?
- How can I keep my account safe?
- How can I create a strong password?
- How can I keep my computer safe?
We take our responsibility to protect your personal information very seriously.
When you are on our website, either to create an account or to access your information, we will always provide you with a secure environment.
- We verify your identity
- We provide the most up-to-date account security
We carefully verify that you are who you say you are. This is why we ask you to provide several different types of information and to answer questions that only you should be able to answer. If you are uncomfortable with the online process, you can always visit a local Social Security office to verify your identity in person.
We may use an identity verification service provided by Experian to help verify your identity and protect your privacy when you register to do business with us online. When we make a verification request to establish your account, Experian may use information from your credit report to help verify your identity. As a result, you may see an entry called a "soft inquiry" on your Experian credit report. This will show an inquiry by the Social Security Administration with our address and the date of the request. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score, and you do not incur any charges related to them. Soft inquiries are displayed in the version of the credit profile viewable only to consumers and are not reported to lenders. The soft inquiry will not appear on your credit report from Equifax or TransUnion, and will generally be removed from your Experian credit report after 25 months. Once you have registered for an online account, you will not generate additional soft inquiries by logging in to access our services.
You will create an individual username and a strong password to secure your account. You will also have the option at any time of adding extra security. Adding extra security will require you to provide your username, password AND a unique security code to access your account.
The law (the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a) requires us to protect the information we get and keep about you. We take the following steps to protect your information:
- We make sure that the only people who see your information are those who need it to perform their official duties.
- We train our employees on our privacy and security rules so they know how to keep your information secure.
You can opt for extra security to provide your account with an extra level of protection. If you’d like to add extra security, you must use a cell phone with text messaging each time you sign in. This extra protection ensures that you are you. Because no one else has access to the text message we send to your cell phone during sign in, this adds even more security than a regular secure sign in.
If the following statements are true for you, the extra security is an option for you:
- I am comfortable answering an identity verification question online
- I have a cell phone that I use regularly
- My cell phone can receive text messages
- I’m comfortable receiving a security code on my phone each time I sign into the system
Each time you want to access your account you will:
- Enter your username and password.
- Request a new security code be texted to your cell phone. (You will just have to click one button.)
- Enter the security code sent to your cell phone.
The code will expire after 10 minutes, so you will need to have your phone nearby when you try to sign in to your account.
You must do 3 things to get extra security:
- Verify your identity by answering a security question. When you first register, we’ll verify your identity by asking for one of these:
- the last 8 digits of your Visa or MasterCard, or
- some information from your W2 tax form, or,
- your direct deposit amount, if you receive Social Security.
Finishing this process usually takes 5 to 10 business days. A special code will be mailed to your home address. In the meantime, you can sign in using the username and password for your account, just as you would at any other secure site.
Any time you deal with us, we must verify your identity. We have to make sure that only you can access your information.
If you visit a Social Security office, we can check your photo ID and ask you questions. We must be extra careful to protect your identity online. We designed the questions we ask so that only you should know the answer. If someone stole your wallet, they should not be able to answer these questions.
If you would prefer not to answer these questions, you can always verify your identity in person in a Social Security Office
Providing financial account information is optional.
You must give financial account information if you want extra security. We confirm financial account information as another way of ensuring your identity. We cannot look at your financial accounts or credit record with the information you give.
If you are uncomfortable giving us your financial account information, you can still sign up for a standard account.
Yes. If you do not know the required information, or if you prefer not to answer these questions online, you may go to your local Social Security office to apply in person.