Create a strong security profile
The information in your security profile, including your password and security questions and answers, is your best line of defense on the internet. If this information becomes compromised or is easy to guess, unauthorized users are more likely to get through technological controls designed to keep them out. Here are a few tips for keeping this personal information safe:
- Never share your password and user name with anyone or store them unencrypted on your computer or device.
- Practice smart password management. Create longer user names and passwords; generally, they're more secure than shorter ones. On vanguard.com, user names must contain 6 to 12 characters and can include letters and numbers. Your password must contain 6 to 20 characters and include at least 2 letters and 2 numbers. You may use most special characters and a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters to help make your password stronger.
- Use a unique user name, password, and set of security questions and answers for Vanguard's website. Use different combinations for hobby or leisure websites and other financial websites.
Passwords can be secure and memorable
You can create a password that's difficult for someone to guess, yet still memorable to you. Try one of these suggestions to create a strong password:
- Combine two or more words or abbreviations with numbers. For example, cpU34ChiP.
- Remove vowels from a phrase and add numbers. For example, Swim twenty laps becomes swm20LpS.
- Abbreviate a favorite phrase. For example, I ride my bike 50 miles every Saturday becomes iRmB50meS.
- Use famous people's initials. For example, a list of U.S. Presidents including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson becomes 1Gw2Al3Tj.
Note: Don't use any of these examples as your password.
Password dos and don'ts
Your vanguard.com password should be:
- Composed of letters (upper- and lowercase), numbers, and/or special characters.
- Different than your passwords on other financial sites.
- Changed on a regular basis.
Your vanguard.com password should not be:
- Written down or stored unencrypted on your computer or device.
- A common word or close variation.
- Composed of anyone's Social Security number, name, or other personal information.
- Composed of three or more sequential letters, numbers, or keyboard patterns (e.g., QWERTY).
- A minor change from your old password. For example, if your previous password was cpU34ChiP, your next password should not be cpU35ChiP.
Tips for creating security questions and answers
When you enter an answer to your security question, it must exactly match the answer we have on file. Otherwise, the system will reject your entry.
To create security answers you can remember in the future, follow these simple tips:
- Choose questions you can answer consistently. If you answer the security question "What is your favorite hobby?" with "golfing," the system will reject "golf" in the future.
- Use one-word answers whenever possible. Avoid qualifiers such as "the," "and," "inc.," "co," etc.
- Note the emphasized words in the questions. For example, if your security question is "What is your current best friend's FIRST NAME?" don't put "John Smith."
- Be careful with people's names. When using a friend's name as an answer, make sure to use his or her familiar name. That is, if you call your friend "Jimmy," don't use "James" as your security answer.
- Pay attention to instructions. If the question asks for your wedding anniversary, note the preferred format (MMDD).
- Be careful with spaces. If you use "El Paso" as an answer to one of your security questions, the system will reject "ElPaso."
- Avoid using quirky or nonsensical answers unless you're certain you'll remember them later.
- Don't use profanity.