Social Security rolls back security measures on website



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has rolled back extra security measures on the agency's website after getting complaints from people who had trouble accessing their accounts.

For years, workers and beneficiaries have been able to use the My Social Security website to get information about benefits, logging in with a user name and a password.

On July 30, the agency began requiring people to sign into their account using a one-time code that was sent to them in a text message. This is a common security method used by banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions to fight identity theft.

The agency said it implemented the extra security to comply with President Barack Obama's executive order requiring federal agencies to improve the security of online financial transactions.

"We implemented it aggressively because we have a fundamental responsibility to protect the public's personal information," the Social Security Administration said in a statement.

However, Social Security has temporarily stopped requiring the extra security after getting complaints.

"Our aggressive implementation inconvenienced or restricted access to some of our account holders," the statement said. "We are listening to the public's concerns and are responding by temporarily rolling back this mandate."

People can still request the extra security on a voluntary basis.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Stephen Ohlemacher

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