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Last updated: 9/10/19

Access Boston portal help

Looking for answers on how to use the Access Boston Portal, set up Multi-Factor Authentication, change your password, and all that sort of thing? You can find what you need to know here.

Just want to talk to a person?

The DoIT Service Desk is available for everyone (from any City Department) at any time at 617-635-7378.

During business hours you can also call:
  • Boston Public Schools: BPS Technology Help Desk Support at 617-635-9200   
  • Boston Police Department: BPD Tech Support Group at 617-343-9600
  • Boston Fire Department: Information Technology Division at 617-343-3483
  • Parks Department:  Parks IT Support at 617-961-3017
  • Boston Public Library: Help Desk at 617-856-2000, extension 4357

Glossary

Glossary

Access Boston is the City’s system for people to access applications and services with a single, convenient login name and password. In addition to enabling access to the applications and services you use every day, Access Boston also offers an easy-to-use self-service portal. Through this portal, you can manage your account, including changing your password, requesting new access, and updating your devices for use with multi-factor authentication.

Authentication is the process used to verify someone's identity. A person arrives to the Access Boston Portal seeking to be authenticated. You have to provide your details, including your ID, password, and sometimes a one-time passcode for multi-factor authentication. What you enter has to match what the City has on file.  If they do, you get in — you have been authenticated.

Every employee at the City of Boston is issued a six-digit Employee ID on their first day of work, which they keep forever.  People who are not on the payroll and instead have a "Sponsored Account" are given an eight-digit User ID. Your ID is used for the Username on the Access Boston Portal.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA]), also sometimes called "two-step verification", strengthens your login by including something you know (your password) with something you have (a one-time code sent to your phone or generated by an app). That way, if someone gets a hold of your password, they still cannot get into your account.  The Access Boston Portal requires use of MFA.

Part of the Multi-Factor Authentication process (verifying you are who you say you are when logging in, updating a password, etc.) is receiving a six digit code via text message, a phone call, an email, or from the PingID app.  This code is abbreviated as an OTP (one-time passcode).  It can also be referred to as a security code or an authentication code.

PingID is a software tool that the City uses for the multi-factor authentication on the Access Boston Portal.  When you get a security code, it will come from PingID (via text, phone call or email). There is also a PingID app (available in the Play Store for Android or App Store for iPhones) that you can download to generate codes for you.  The company who created PingID is called Ping Identity.

The Access Boston Portal provides Single Sign-On (SSO) for people. SSO means that once you authenticate, you get access to all the ABP resources (applications, tools, forms) without having to enter your password again. 

Sponsored Accounts are given to people who are not on the City of Boston's payroll but still need an account in order to access electronic resources.  There are different role types:

  • Consultant
  • Intern/Fellow
  • Collaborator
  • Other Governmental Employee, and
  • Volunteer.

Regular employees can request a Sponsored Account for someone from the Access Boston Portal, and their manager approves the request.

Sponsored Accounts are provided for a specific amount of time (up to one year) and can be renewed as needed. Reminders are sent to the Sponsor two weeks before the account is due to expire.  If someone leaves early, the Sponsor should put in the new end date from the Access Boston Portal so that access is immediately stopped.