We occasionally receive client inquiries about cyber security and the safety of accounts held at our custodians. Not only do we take the security of your accounts seriously, but our custodians also consider this a serious matter.
As a follow up on our November blogs on Cyber Security and Protecting Your Identity, we thought we might further expound on the additional steps Charles Schwab & Co (Schwab) takes to protect your account information from unauthorized access.
The SchwabSafe webpage outlines the security measures that Schwab uses to secure your information and the precautions you need to be taking as well. It also has great traveling tips and what to do if you suspect fraud on your accounts.
Some highlights include:
- Using advanced encryption technology and firewalls – 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL3) encryption
- Highest level of Extended Validation (EV) certificates
- Scanning for suspicious behavior
One of the most interesting items in the SchwabSafe tips is your ability to login in with a token. We use tokens here to login in to Schwab before any trading can occur on your accounts. You can also request a token to help make each login more secure, especially when you are traveling. A token is a small device that creates a six-digit number that serves as an additional password every time you log in. The token basically gives you a new numeric password each time you log in. If you want to take the additional step to order a token, you can call Schwab at 800-435-4000.
The SchwabSafe site also talks about your role in making sure that your online information is secure.This includes installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computers, activating your firewalls, and especially using caution when accessing accounts via public computers.
We often provide a link to Schwab’s Security Guarantee, here, when clients inquire. Technology has clearly become more prevalent in our lives. Taking precautions to ensure it is not used against us is very important. Despite any inconveniences, all security procedures are in place to protect you from fraud.
Kim Butler, CFP®
Associate Financial Planner