Social Security will require a cell phone for account access
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Social Security will require a cell phone for account access

    I am just.....flabbergasted......

    I received an email yesterday from SSA. Because of all the hacking going on they are stepping up their authentication process to access your on-line account. This new process starting next month will require you to enter your cell phone number during the log in process - then the computer will send you a text with a code that you will enter into the next screen to gain access to your account. This process will happen each time you log in (with a different texted code).

    I have no cell service.

    I need to access and print a couple documents a couple times a year. So now what am I supposed to do? I wrote to SSA about this - awaiting a response.

    So is it now assumed that ever single person in the US has a cell phone? What about older folks - do they all have cell phones? Even if I did have cell service I have no reason whatsoever to own one. The expense ($20+?) would be just thrown out the window.
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    Rope_Chucker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    I am just.....flabbergasted......

    I received an email yesterday from SSA. Because of all the hacking going on they are stepping up their authentication process to access your on-line account. This new process starting next month will require you to enter your cell phone number during the log in process - then the computer will send you a text with a code that you will enter into the next screen to gain access to your account. This process will happen each time you log in (with a different texted code).

    I have no cell service.

    I need to access and print a couple documents a couple times a year. So now what am I supposed to do? I wrote to SSA about this - awaiting a response.

    So is it now assumed that ever single person in the US has a cell phone? What about older folks - do they all have cell phones? Even if I did have cell service I have no reason whatsoever to own one. The expense ($20+?) would be just thrown out the window.
    Stan - flags should be going up...this sounds like a scam. Anyone else hear of this...I haven't.
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    Stan,

    It's called 2 factor authentication, you know a user name and a password, you register a device with them, they send a one time code to validate your the actual person logging in in hopes that you haven't given your cell phone to the hacker. A lot of systems are using this method at this point, Pay Pal implemented this a short time ago, Microsoft has had it on the volume license download site for several years.

    Call the local SSI office and validate the request sent in email is not a scam and ask them an alternative solution for people that don't have cell phones.

    You could always see if you can get one of these for "free". Obama Phone

    Of course, I may have just doomed this thread to the political forum.....
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rope_Chucker View Post
    Stan - flags should be going up...this sounds like a scam. Anyone else hear of this...I haven't.
    Before I posted I looked for an article on-line and couldn't fine one. I would have expected that I wouldn't be the only one screaming......
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    Yeah I agree that is kind of dumb. While a lot of places are starting to require two factor authentication, forcing that on the older generation is kind of dumb.

    I was trying to think of a solution which might help you and the best one that I can think of is Google Voice. If you have a GMail Account you can sign up for a Google Voice number. The way Google Voice works is you tag it to another number or multiple numbers. Now I have a cell phone so I haven't tried doing what you are trying to do but if someone calls my Google Voice number based on the day and time of day it will ring my cell phone, my work desk and/or my home phone and I can answer it at any of the locations. Also if I am mid call (provided it was initiated as a Google Voice call) I can even hit a couple buttons and flip the call from my desk at work to my cell.

    Anyhow where I think this might help is you can sign up for Google Voice, tie it to your home number. When you register you pick what area code you want your phone number to be in and they assign you a number. That Google Voice phone number is SMS (text message) enabled. So you could give that Google Voice number to SSA. When you go to log into the system and it sends the verification to your "cell phone" you will get an email in your gmail inbox. So you could log into that and get the verification code.

    Again this is free so you could try and set it up and see if it works and if you like it or not. You just need a Gmail Account. The only gotcha is if you have to have a cell phone to sign up. I don't think you do. I do recall a requirement but I am almost positive that it requires a landline of some sort, not a cell phone so I think you will be fine.

    https://www.google.com/voice

    I do agree with you that the requirement is dumb. They need to find some other way of doing two factor authentication.


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    I also agree that you should verify that this is legit.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    Yeah I agree that is kind of dumb. While a lot of places are starting to require two factor authentication, forcing that on the older generation is kind of dumb.

    I was trying to think of a solution which might help you and the best one that I can think of is Google Voice. If you have a GMail Account you can sign up for a Google Voice number. The way Google Voice works is you tag it to another number or multiple numbers. Now I have a cell phone so I haven't tried doing what you are trying to do but if someone calls my Google Voice number based on the day and time of day it will ring my cell phone, my work desk and/or my home phone and I can answer it at any of the locations. Also if I am mid call (provided it was initiated as a Google Voice call) I can even hit a couple buttons and flip the call from my desk at work to my cell.

    Anyhow where I think this might help is you can sign up for Google Voice, tie it to your home number. When you register you pick what area code you want your phone number to be in and they assign you a number. That Google Voice phone number is SMS (text message) enabled. So you could give that Google Voice number to SSA. When you go to log into the system and it sends the verification to your "cell phone" you will get an email in your gmail inbox. So you could log into that and get the verification code.

    Again this is free so you could try and set it up and see if it works and if you like it or not. You just need a Gmail Account. The only gotcha is if you have to have a cell phone to sign up. I don't think you do. I do recall a requirement but I am almost positive that it requires a landline of some sort, not a cell phone so I think you will be fine.

    https://www.google.com/voice

    I do agree with you that the requirement is dumb. They need to find some other way of doing two factor authentication.
    Thank you!

    While I was eating breakfast I thought about this - that something in the Google tool box might work.

    Awesome - this makes me feel better. It is kind of important for me to print those documents when I need them.

    And yes, I see more of the multi-level authentication happening also - it has to come to this with just about everything being accessed over the internet.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    I also agree that you should verify that this is legit.
    Yeah - I sent an email to SSA about it. It's supposed to go into effect next month some time - we will see if it comes true or not.....
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    If you have internet access, why not send the code to your email or a different email not used on their site? Just a thought! The digital world is moving so fast, younger folks do not understand the days when we had party lines. LOL! Even though I work in IT, I do not like how fast it is moving. Mostly due to the fact they have not yet figured out how to secure this stuff.
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    Stan,

    SSA 2 factor is listed on their site as an optional enhanced security measure, call or visit the local office to validate your not being scammed.

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