Security Center » Enhanced Logon FAQs
When you sign up for account access, you'll select and name a security image, known only to you. When you log on, we'll show you this image so you know you're accessing vanguard.com, not an impostor site. It's a way for Vanguard to identify itself to you and you to Vanguard.
We also check the computer that you're using. We're able to recognize your computers, even if you use multiple ones—such as your work and home machines—to access our website. If you log on from a different computer, we'll take additional steps to verify your identity, such as requesting that you answer one of your security questions.
Criminals today create impostor sites, impersonating legitimate websites so they can steal your personal information. Vanguard is committed to proactively protecting you when you do business online with us. This enhanced logon helps us safeguard your information.
This logon protects you from accidentally revealing your user name and password to an impostor site. In addition, if someone does get your user name and password, that person will not be able to access your account without answering a security question, since that person is likely not accessing our website from your recognized computer.
We only show you your security image if you log on from your own computer, or after you answer a security question, making it very difficult for an unauthorized person to get your security image.
When you enter your Vanguard user name from a recognized computer, we'll show you your security image. At that point, you'll know you're on the authentic vanguard.com website and can safely enter your Vanguard password.
We use the security questions as an extra layer of protection, helping to prevent unauthorized people from accessing your accounts. If someone has your user name and password, they likely won't know the answer to your security question.
Also, if someone logs on from a computer we don't recognize (for example, if you log on from a public computer in a library), we'll ask you a challenge question to verify your identity.
We ask you a security question when we detect you're trying to log on from a different, unrecognized computer. Since only you know the answer to your security questions, we can confirm your identity.
Generally, you'll be asked to answer a security question only when you log on for the first time from a new computer. After you answer the question, you can indicate that the computer is one you'll use regularly and Vanguard will recognize that computer for future use. If you're using a secure personal computer, you should take advantage of this feature. If you're using a public terminal, such as a library computer, to access your accounts, which we do not recommend, you should not have Vanguard recognize the machine.
Yes, you can access your Vanguard account from any number of computers. If you log on from a new computer, you'll need to answer one of your security questions. There's no limit to how many different computers you can use to log on to your account.
Yes, multiple people can log on using the same computer. Each person who logs on to vanguard.com will see his or her own security image. There's no limit on how many people can log on to our website from the same computer.
If an unauthorized person tries to log on with your user name and password, we likely won't recognize the computer he or she is using, so we'll ask that person one of your security questions. Since only you know the answers to your security questions, the individual will likely not be able to log on.
Yes, you can change your security image or questions at any time.
No. Vanguard doesn't support the use of custom images. You must choose an image from our image library.
When you log on for the first time from a new computer, we put a secure (encrypted) cookie on your computer. This cookie contains a randomly generated unique number that identifies your computer. The cookie is visible only to the Vanguard website and does not contain any of your personal information. When you log on again, our site recognizes that cookie, letting us know you're using a computer you've used before.
If we ask you a security question after you enter your user name, Vanguard doesn't recognize the computer you're using. This may happen if you have deleted cookies from your computer.
If you answer your security question correctly, you'll see your security image, letting you know you're safely at Vanguard.com and can enter your password.
If you deleted the cookies on your computer, we can use a secondary authentication process (known as a Flash object) to recognize your computer. If, however, you do not have Flash installed or enabled on your computer, Vanguard won't be able to recognize your computer and you'll have to answer a security question before logging on.
Vanguard.com features a virtual assistant, Val, who can help if you have trouble logging on. Val may ask for information that can identify you, such as your full—or a portion of your—Social Security number, to help you log on to our site.
Yes. We'll use Macromedia Flash objects to identify your computer if you have Macromedia Flash installed on your computer and we can't identify your computer's cookies. Using Flash objects as a secondary authentication method helps ensures you can log on as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Macromedia Flash objects store data on your computer, similar to cookies. If you deleted all your cookies and you have Macromedia Flash installed, we can use Flash objects to recognize your computer. This allows us to identify you without you having to answer one of your security questions. Get more information about how our site uses Flash.
Need technical assistance?
Contact Web Technical Support Services at 888-353-0547, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Eastern time.
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