Privacy & Security Questions
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.
When you make a verification request to establish your account, our Identity Services Provider may use information from your credit report to help verify your identity. As a result, you may see a “soft” inquiry entry on your credit report with the Identity Services Provider, indicating that the Social Security Administration made an inquiry at your request and the date of that 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 report provided to a consumer and are not reported to lenders. Soft inquiries will not appear on your credit report from other providers. Soft inquiries are generally removed from your credit report after 12 months. Once you have registered for an online account, you will not generate additional soft inquiries by signing 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 to add 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.
Extra security is an added layer of protection for your account. If you would like to add extra security, you must answer a financial verification question. Adding extra security does not change the way that you sign in to your account. You must still sign in with your username, password, and a unique security code we will provide each time you 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 am comfortable answering a financial verification question online.
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.
To apply in person you will need proof of your current address plus one of the following:
- valid U.S. driver's license
- current state-issued non-driver identity
- unexpired U.S. Passport or Passport card
- U.S. military identification card (active duty, retiree, national guard, or dependent)
- U.S. government employee identification card
- Follow our guidelines for creating a strong password
- Don't share your password
- Don't write down your username or password where someone could find it
- Never allow a shared computer to “save” your username and password
- You can change your password at any time after signing in to your account
We will never ask you to reveal your password to us. If you get a phone call or email message asking for your password, do not give it out. Report the call or the email to us by calling 1-800-269-0271. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, our toll-free TTY number is 1-866-501-2101.
For more tips on protecting your password, visit www.onguardonline.gov
Length. Use at least 8 characters without spaces.
Characters. Use at least 1 capital letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 number, and 1 special character (such as $ or %).
Content. Avoid numbers, names, or dates that are significant to you. For example, avoid your phone number, first name or date of birth. Try to choose a password you can remember.
Protect your computer with anti-virus software, anti-spam software, and a firewall.
Security software can help prevent computer viruses, or anything that can infect your computer, from harming it.
Create strong passwords and keep them secret.
Strong passwords are long, include both letters and numbers, and avoid common words and personal names or dates. You should use different passwords for different accounts. Keep your password reminders in a safe and secure place.
Be cautious with Email.
Never open an Email you weren't expecting or that looks suspicious. Be wary of any Email that asks you to enter personal information. Avoid clicking on links in Emails; type in the address yourself to make sure you view the official website.
Before you enter personal information, check for security indicators.
Look for signs that a webpage is secure before you enter any personal information. A secure website should have a green address bar, a closed padlock icon, and a web address with “https” (“s” for secure). For extra precaution, view the security information and certificates to make sure you are on a site you can trust.