By Kylle’ D. McKinney Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Do you know what it takes to be safe online? You probably connect daily to get information, shop, socialize, or work. Every time you go online, you need to avoid the risk of theft or fraud. Here are some tips to use while visiting the Social Security website and the other websites you use.
o Use Strong Passwords–Strong passwords have at least eight characters and include capital letters, numbers, and non-letter EVERY DAY IS INTERNET SECURITY DAY characters. These passwords make it harder for someone to hack your account.
o Don’t Recycle Passwords–Although it requires effort to think of new passwords constantly, it provides safety when you do. What if you use the same password for every site and you lose your password? If someone finds it, they could get access to all your accounts. Many people choose to reuse — don’t be one of them.
o Take Advantage of Multifactor Authentication–Many websites offer the option to use a second factor—or method—in addition to just a username and password to ensure that only you access your information. Using more than one factor to establish identity makes it harder for someone to get into your account and steal your personal information. Beginning June 10, 2017, Social Security requires multifactor authentication to access a my Social Security account. Customers choose whether to receive a one-time security code to either their phone or email in order create a new account or sign into their account. Visit this link to find out more about how to secure your personal my Social Security account: www.socialsecurity.gov/
o Read Scam Alerts–For information about fraudulent activities related to Social Security, you can find information at our blog Social Security Matters under the Newsroom section at blog.socialsecurity.gov. One way to avoid identity theft is to create your own my Social Security account, if you haven’t already. When you have an account, no one else can set up an account using your information. Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General investigates fraud involving Social Securityand they publish Fraud Advisories at oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/news-
o Review Your Online Accounts and Credit Reports–Just as you review your earnings record with Social Security for accuracy at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
Protecting your identity can be daunting. Guarding your personal information requires investing some time, but is worth it. Discourage theft and fraud by adopting these securitypractices when you use the internet.
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