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Vanguard - Learn how Vanguard protects your accounts

Security Center  »  Learn How Vanguard Protects Your Accounts


Learn how Vanguard protects your accounts

The privacy and security of your account information are very important to us. Vanguard uses the following features and technologies to help ensure the security of your personal and financial information during online transactions. The same security features apply to vanguard.com as well as our mobile apps.

  • Web browser encryption. To access your accounts through vanguard.com, your computer's web browser must support 128-bit encryption and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) version 3.0 protocol. These technologies provide strong security and privacy when you access account information, initiate online account transactions, or send secure messages.
  • "Green bar" reassurance. Vanguard passed an independent and rigorous audit to get an "extended validation" SSL certificate from Verisign, a leading certificate authority company. This type of SSL certificate can help prevent "phishing" attacks when you use certain browsers—including Internet Explorer version 7 and higher and Firefox version 3 and higher on Windows XP or Vista—by highlighting the address bar in green and showing the real company name when you access trusted websites, such as vanguard.com. (See the image below.)

green bar

  • User name and password protection. Your Vanguard user name must contain 6 to 12 characters and can include letters and numbers. Your password must contain 6 to 20 characters and must include at least 2 letters and 2 numbers. If you choose, your password may also include upper- and lowercase letters and most special characters. After a limited number of unsuccessful logon attempts, Vanguard will disable your password as a precaution. If your password is disabled, you can restore access through our website or by calling Vanguard.
  • Security image during logon. After entering your user name to access your accounts, you should see a security image you previously selected. Verify your security image before entering your password. You can also tell Vanguard to "recognize" the computer or device you're using, and we'll run system checks to ensure you're logging on from your computer or device. For the system checks to work, you must have JavaScript enabled. For more information, read our enhanced logon FAQs.
  • Security questions. You'll be asked one of the security questions you chose if you log on from a computer or personal device we don't recognize, or if you perform other sensitive transactions.
  • A time-out feature. Secure areas of our site have built-in timers that terminate your access after a specified amount of time to help reduce the possibility of unauthorized access from an unattended computer or device. When you finish viewing your account information, log off the site and close your browser or mobile app.
  • Masking bank account number. To prevent unauthorized users from viewing your bank account number online, we'll only display the last four digits of your account number; preceding digits will be masked by asterisks.
  • Extra verification. We'll send confirmation letters or e-mails when changes are made on your account. If you receive a letter or e-mail confirming a change you didn't authorize, contact Vanguard immediately at abuse@vanguard.com or 888-353-0547.

In addition to these safeguards, Vanguard will never:

  • Send an e-mail asking for you to respond with your personal account information (such as user name, password, or Social Security number).
  • Ask for your web password in an e-mail or request it via phone or U.S. mail. However, we may ask for personal information if you're having trouble logging on to vanguard.com. Our website's virtual assistant, Val, may appear on your screen to help you log on. Val may ask for information that can identify you, such as a portion of your, or your full, Social Security number.
  • Display a popup warning or security alert when you log on if you've kept your web browser up to date. If you do encounter a logon security message, click No and call Vanguard Web Technical Support Services at 888-353-0547 for assistance. You can also read our Browser FAQ page.

Note: A security alert could indicate that either the date on your computer is incorrect or you're using an older version of the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. In these instances, you may also contact Web Technical Support Services for assistance.

Need technical assistance?

Contact Web Technical Support Services at 888-353-0547, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Eastern time.

Report security concerns

Receive a suspicious e-mail claiming to be from or about Vanguard? Forward it to us at phish@vanguard.com

Have other security concerns? E-mail us at abuse@vanguard.com

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