The ProofPilot registration process is carefully thought out to balance security and accessibility. Users must begin their registration with a piece of contact information. Either an SMS enabled telephone number or an e-mail address.
If a user registers with an e-mail address, ProofPilot automatically requests the user to optionally provide and confirm an SMS enabled telephone number. We do this for several reasons:
- Many studies have tasks that a user may complete by SMS text message. Often rewards are issued based on that SMS completed task. If a user registered via e-mail without an SMS text message, ProofPilot would not be able to match the task completion, and the user would not receive their reward.
- The proliferation of free e-mail addresses means that many people have multiple addresses. However, most SMS enabled phones still require a monthly financial commitment, so most people have only one (or maybe 2). Therefore the SMS enabled number reduces multiple registrations on the platform.
- Likewise, multiple e-mail addresses mean they can be easily used by bad actors to commit fraud and abuse. While SMS enabled numbers do not provide 100% protection against harmful actors, they do offer an additional mitigation point.
- Additional security. Many of us are familiar with dual factor authentication. This additional point of authentication improves perceptions of security and trust.
Why is providing the SMS number optional?
ProofPilot understands that providing a mobile phone telephone number is not as common as e-mail addresses online. We want to accommodate those that are uncomfortable sharing that information.
We also understand that not everyone can afford to pay for a mobile phone. Those without access can skip the entry fields. For studies that have a large number of participants without mobile phones, study designers should consider their protocol carefully and have study proctors available for group-based in-person activities to check participants in via the in-person experience.