If you’re one of the millions of service members, military retirees, annuitants and federal civilian employees who use myPay to view and manage your pay accounts, be on the lookout out for a change that’s coming in late April that adds a security step.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service is implementing mandatory two-factor authentication to increase the security of online financial and personal information, providing more protection from fraudsters.

That means that each time you access myPay, you’ll be sent a one-time personal identification number through either email or text message, and you’ll enter that PIN as an extra verification. You choose your preference for receiving that PIN the first time you log in to myPay after the change takes effect.

The requirements are different for those with a smart card, such as a Common Access Card, or CAC, or personal identity verification, PIV. In that case, you won’t have to enter the random PIN each time you log in to myPay. But the first time you use myPay after the new requirement takes effect, you’ll see an entry screen that asks you to choose your preferred method for receiving one-time PINs when you need to log in to myPay while away from your work computer.

Officials haven’t yet determined the day that the requirement goes live, said DFAS spokesman Steve Burghardt.

Through myPay, users can view leave and earnings statements, view and print documents such as tax statements and travel vouchers, change federal and state tax withholding, change addresses, and manage other functions.

Last fall, DFAS introduced the two-factor authentication on a voluntary, test basis, and 1.2 million people, including 400,000 retirees, have already been participating in the program, Burghardt said. Two-factor authentication is becoming more common across government, educational and commercial online environments as an extra layer of protection from criminals who want to steal bank account numbers, names, address and other information to create fraudulent accounts, requesting loans or credit cards using stolen identities. Criminals could even redirect deposits to their fraudulent accounts to steal pay.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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