People seeking to manage their federal Social Security benefits online can no longer do so unless they provide a cellphone number so they can receive an access code by text each time they log on.
The change, which took effect July 30, is part of an effort to improve online security, according to the Social Security Administration. Users with online “mySocialSecurity” accounts already could choose to use texted codes as an extra layer of security, in addition to their user name and password. But now, the extra step is mandatory. Many businesses, including banks, offer such codes, but their use is typically optional.