Quick! How many times did you visit a government website during the past year? If you’re like most people, you probably visited a U.S. government website at least once (though most likely more than once); some studies indicate that at least 82 percent of of all Internet users have looked for information or completed a transaction on a government website.
If you’re a small-business owner, a veteran, or simply a person interested in tracking the status of your tax return, you’ve likely interacted with multiple government websites, in addition to making repeat visits to those that are most relevant to your interests and goals. For better or worse, dealing with several government agencies online can require you to fill out a lot of forms and juggle a lot of information (which most of us try to avoid).
This is all about to change. Soon, you’ll be able to use MyUSA — a service that makes government resources easier to access, and government tasks and processes easier to keep track of.
What is MyUSA?
MyUSA is an account management service that consolidates your interactions with government websites. You’ll only need one login to access sites from our partner agencies.
What’s more, you won’t need a new password to log in. MyUSA uses open authorization (OAuth) to connect you with partner agencies while keeping your personal information secure — this eliminates the need for a new password and protects your privacy. (If you’d like to read more about OAuth, this overview is helpful.)
Once you’ve signed up with MyUSA, you’ll be able to use it to access partner agencies’ websites more easily. You’ll also be able to use it to keep track of tasks you need to complete for various agencies, and to receive notifications about your to-dos — the steps in applying for a small-business loan, for example.
In short, MyUSA is your one account for government.
Why should I use it?
The short answer is that using MyUSA will make it easy to sign into and register with federal websites, manage your interactions with the federal government, and store ongoing work with federal government websites for later use.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of MyUSA’s benefits:
- We make it easy to log in: MyUSA uses OAuth, which means no new passwords for you to remember. You’ll be able to log in using Google or your email address — whichever you prefer.
- We help you find the services and resources you need: When you complete your MyUSA profile, you help partner agencies find and then surface the resources, services, and benefits that make the most sense for you, based on your individual needs and geographic location.
- We help keep you on track and store your ongoing work for later use: Gone are the days of written to-do lists! MyUSA provides customized task lists for each agency you’re interacting with. For example, let’s say you’re applying for small-business financing through Business.usa.gov. MyUSA’s task checklist will list the steps in the application process and help you keep track of steps you haven’t yet completed.
- We keep you notified: To stay even more organized, you can choose to receive email notifications about the status of different tasks (like applying for financing). In the future, you’ll be able to receive notifications via SMS and paper mail, too.
Who is MyUSA for?
MyUSA appeals to a diverse group of users, each of whom seeks different information from the federal government and therefore visits different websites. Most people can find value in using MyUSA, but the following examples provide more detailed information about how people might use it.
First, consider Aileen, who is trying to get her pottery business up and running. As an aspiring small-business owner, Aileen routinely visits multiple government websites, including BusinessUSA. Because she visits so many sites (each of which has different password requirements), she has trouble remembering the passwords she created. As a result, she routinely has to create new passwords, which makes the login process time-consuming and frustrating. By using MyUSA, Aileen can save login time and frustration.
Unlike Aileen, Charles doesn’t interact with government websites every day. A veteran who is pursuing his master’s in education, Charles occasionally uses Benefits.gov to see if he’s eligible for any research-related grants, but he’s far from a power user. Because he visits Benefits.gov so infrequently, Charles found that he kept forgetting his login information, which he then decided to store in a note on his smartphone. Instead of creating this security risk, Charles could use MyUSA for secure, passwordless sign on.
The only people who probably won’t find MyUSA useful are those who don’t visit federal government websites. For the rest of us, though, MyUSA will offer increased efficiency and security.
That sounds great! How can I sign up?
Getting started with MyUSA is easy. Visit our website, enter your email address, and fill in an optional profile — that’s it! Once you create your account, you’ll be able to interact with our current partners, including BusinessUSA, USA.gov, and Benefits.gov.
Though we’re currently undergoing site updates, MyUSA should be up and running within the next few weeks — check out our Coming Soon page for more details. If you have additional questions or want to share your thoughts on how we can make MyUSA even better, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.