SMS for Identity Verification

Using Text Messages for Identity Verification

It can be a challenge to know if the person you are dealing with is who they claim to be. While it may seem far-fetched, identity theft and security breaches happen far more often than we might care to admit. Thankfully, SMS messaging plays an important role in helping businesses of all sizes with identity and user verification.

Confirming identities through SMS service is an inexpensive yet highly reliable and convenient way to increase organizational security, as well as peace of mind.

The Benefits of Using an SMS Platform for Identity Verification

  • Decreased security breaches
  • Reduced incidence of unauthorized access to data and software applications
  • Increased trust and engagement during confidential discussions
  • Better control of who has access to sensitive information and materials
  • Increased awareness of which people or groups are in a certain location at any given time

How to Use SMS Text Messaging for Identity Verification and Authorization

Text messages are a powerful tool in verifying the identity of individuals. Since most people keep their phone with them most of the time, a simple SMS message can be used in a variety of ways to confirm in real-time that a person is who they claim to be. Here are just a few of the ways text messages can be used to verify a person’s identity.

  • Authorizing users of software applications.Two-step authentication requires online users to enter a passcode delivered via text message in order to access an application. This confirms that the person sitting at the computer is authentic and not a hacker or nefarious party trying to gain unauthorized access to data.
Identity Verification
  • Confirming the identity of someone requesting access. From airplanes to conventions and all points in between, confirming the identity of someone seeking entry to a restricted space is made easier with text messages.
Identity Verification
  • Resetting passwords. From online applications to real-world smart devices, passwords are a part of our daily routine. Text messages can be used quickly and securely both to request and receive a new password.
Identity Verification
  • Validating access to restricted areas. Temporary passcodes can be communicated via SMS as a way to track employee movements. By offering a short-term, temporary passcode via text message, employees can gain access to restricted areas and account logs can be created showing who was where at different times of day.
Identity Verification
  • Confirming the identity of someone requesting confidential information.Using a real-time SMS message to confirm that the person requesting access to private data or information is a great way to make sure the person is not an imposter. From banking records to patient data, text messages sent during a meeting can confirm that the requestor is authentic.
Identity Verification


Text Messages Verified Bank Customers’ Identities after a Data Breach

The data breach had been tremendous. One of the largest banks in the world had accidentally shared the passwords of thousands of online accounts. Securing customer information and login access was of the utmost priority. But given the tendency of many people to use the same password across web services, the bank had to assume that the people who had gained access to the bank account passwords also had access to customer email accounts. As a result, sending password reset notifications by email was far from secure, since the identity of the person reading the message couldn’t be confirmed. They had to act quickly to protect the bank’s customers. Here’s how they did it.

Careful not to induce panic, the bank chose to send a series of text messages advising customers that their account passcodes might have been compromised. The messages were informative and directed customers to reset their account password as soon as possible. At the same time, the web team placed a field on the password-reset page of the website requiring an authentication code before the reset could be completed. Users resetting their password were sent a code via text message to their cellphone. If they entered the correct code in to the website, they were allowed to change their password. If they entered the wrong code (or no code at all) they weren’t able to reset the account password.

The plan worked. Within 48 hours more than 90% of all online users had been verified and reset their passwords. While the bank did have reports of theft and fraud associated with the data breach, the damage was minimal considering how many accounts had been compromised.


Leveraging SMS Service in to Identity Verification and User Authorization

Text messages are a powerful way to validate and verify the identity of those with whom you do business. It’s hard to imagine that the person sitting across from you in the board room or the user trying to log in to your software service might not be who they claim, but it does happen. Thankfully, SMS messages offer a quick and convenient way to confirm a user’s identity before proceeding with the task at hand. Why leave the security and stability of your organization to chance when identity verification through text messaging is so simple and cost effective for everyone involved?

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