You give it to someone else so that they can basically log into YOUR account to help you without you needing to give them your account ID and password.
. . . But that person doing the helping needs to be an LDS Member.
The tuth is , though, in most cases you dont even need the helper number - dont assume you do.
What is it you feel the helper number will help you accomplish? knowing that we will know how to answer your REAL question . . .
Ok. I m an LDS member, and a non-member has given me her helper number and asked for my help; how do i use it to log into her FS account, please? Or is this possible?
Tysvk 4 ur help!
Tyvk 4 responding. A senior had called my mother, who happens to be a genealogical consultant, for help in tracking down ancestors' info. Mom was able to help, so the sweet soul happily entered her newfound info into her FS software, and put it aside for a while.
Upon coming back to do more work in her family tree, she was met with far more information than she, herself, had entered .
Much of this new info had been entered into her family tree in error--some entries ought not to be there at all; some have information added in error. One ancestor had even become his very own grandson...so, she called Mom to ask what to do. Mom tried to help , but alas Mom speaks Apple, while her client understands only PC, and is using an older version of the FS software besides. So, Mom gave her client my phone number, reasuring her that I would be delighted to help.
Since this particular situation was new to me, and having no idea whatsoever as to where I could make use of this number, I ended up searching for the last correctly-entered ancestor in her tree, by his individual identifier number, and without entering him into my own tree (but from inside my own account) , and then started making corrections from there. Mom's client was able to verify online, that the corrections made to those individual records were reflected in her account. Where Mom's client wished to do something herself/learn her way around FS a little better, she was well able to give me enough info to enable me to guide her easily.
You were absolutely correct--i had no need to use the helper number to assist; i just lucked out, that the 1st workaround that I tried, worked. Or, more correctly started, it was both fortunate and a great blessing that the software interface was intelligently designed with the needs of electronically-inexperienced, yet seniormost family history buffs in mind. I just didn't know that before asking.
So--you know I have to ask--what tasks absolutely require the use of the helper number, and do I use it as a password with her username the next time she--or anyone else--asks for help? I figure that if Mom has decided that she is going to refer her clients my way for this sort of issue, it might be a good idea for me to find out about the basics, in the hope of keeping this very important work enjoyable for those beautiful and seniormost souls, who are courageously finding their way online.
"what tasks absolutely require the use of the helper number…"
There are actually very few situations where needing the helper number is of benefit. Since the FamilySearch FamilyTree is all a single shared tree that EVERYONE can see and manipulate, it's just fine (and preferable IMHO) to do all the change work from your own account. That way the person you are helping can identify changes that you made under your own name.
Some exceptions to this are situations where both you and the person that you are helping are logged in at the same time--either sitting next to each other while being logged in on different computers, or on something like a FaceTime or Zoom conference while discussing issues about a record. Also, if you've contacted the help desk about an issue where something seems to be behaving strangely, the help desk person can get your helper number and basically sign in as you to see if there are misconfigurations in your settings that are causing the problem. One other scenario would be if the person needs help on LIVE records in her account that only she can see.
"…and do I use it as a password with her username the next time…"
It's not really so much a "password" as it is just a key to her account. But yes, as long as she does not change that number in her account, you can continue to use it. However, I think that their is a timeout of around a year where you have to reinitiate the "agreement" that you have with her allowing you to use that number.
In general, no-one should be sharing their FamilySearch login name and password with anyone else. This can infringe on the user agreement that you accept by using this site. Again, there are some acceptable exceptions, but it is just not a good practice at all.