Schwab’s security measures are designed to keep your personal information safe.
How We Protect Client Accounts at Schwab
Client accounts at Schwab are protected in multiple ways. We have designed and implemented a security program that knits together complementary tools, controls and technologies to protect client accounts and data. We continuously monitor our systems, and we work collaboratively with government agencies, law enforcement and other financial services firms to address potential threats. We have a strong culture of risk management.
Like other firms, we try to keep our behind-the-scenes security measures and practices private – to make it more difficult for fraudsters to gain an edge by understanding the tools and techniques we apply. But here are some of the important things you should know.
Technology features that protect Schwab accounts include advanced encryption technology to secure communications on schwab.com. Our sites use multilayered protections beyond login name and password before granting access to an account. In the event unauthorized account activity is suspected, the user is prompted to answer additional security questions, and failed login attempts are limited.
Schwab.com also uses Extended Validation Certificates to help clients verify that they are accessing our authentic site, and not a “spoofed” site masquerading as schwab.com. Look for the green bar in front of the web address at the top of your browser to confirm that you’re on Schwab’s official, secure site. The “https://” and padlock icon in the address bar will additionally confirm you are on our secure site.
Automated alerts and other actions also play a behind-the-scenes role in our authentication and monitoring processes. We use pattern analysis and other advanced analytical systems to detect suspicious account activity and deter unauthorized access. Schwab’s fraud teams monitor activity looking for suspicious behavior. This allows us to spot attempted intrusions and act on them quickly.
We limit the number of employees who have access to clients’ personal information, and we enforce internal authentication measures to protect against the potential for social engineering. All employees who handle sensitive information are trained in privacy and security. Those employees are held to high standards in adhering to established protocol in order to ensure that client data is kept private.
All of the channels through which clients have access to Schwab are protected. When you call us by phone, our representatives ask for several pieces of identifying information before you are authenticated and can conduct transactions. When you visit a branch, we ask you for a state- issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license) or federal government-issued I.D. (such as a passport).
When sensitive transactions occur in your account(s), such as money being moved in or out, or a purchase or sale of a security, or when personal information is changed or updated, we provide you with an alert.
Certain criteria cause various transactions to be reviewed by specialists. In this process, highly trained individuals review transactions for indications that they may be fraudulent.
At the end of the day, it’s all about trust. To give our clients peace of mind, we provide the Schwab Security Guarantee, which states: Schwab will cover 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity. Read more about the terms of the Guarantee here.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Account(s)
We consider security to be a partnership between us and our clients. Taking some basic, preventative steps can help make your personal information more secure. Many involve plain common sense, like routinely checking your monthly statements to make sure reported account activity is legitimate. Other steps include:
- Keep your web browser and operating system updated and activate the computer firewall. Old software and browsers can be susceptible to attack
- Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all platforms (Windows, Apple and mobile devices)
- Check your security settings on your applications and web browser, and make sure they’re strong.
- When you log in to a Schwab website, check the address bar for site validity; a green bar shows that you’re on the authentic Schwab site.
- Only download Schwab apps from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
- Be cautious when using public computers. If you do use one, clear the browser’s history (cache) and cookies before leaving.
- Only use wireless networks you trust or that are protected. Public Wi-Fi locations can be dangerous places to connect your devices. Pay attention to security warnings that pop up. Don’t accept software updates when connected to a public Wi-Fi.
- Don’t use personal information such as your birthday as part of your login ID.
- Create a unique password for each financial institution you do business with and change it every six months. Don’t share your passwords.
- Consider adding a verbal password to your Schwab account for an extra layer of security when you call us.
- Consider getting a free security token, too, which can make every login even more secure. Just call us at 800-435-4000.
- Beware of attempts to “phish” your information. These are often in the form of urgent-sounding emails where you might be encouraged to click on a link in order to update personal information. Even clicking on the link could potentially take you to a malicious website, where malware could infect your computer. We strongly recommend that you not click on suspicious links. Go instead to a known web address (e.g., https://www.schwab.com) and navigate from there.
- We provide multiple ways to verify that an email has come from Schwab. If you are ever in doubt about the authenticity of an email, just give us a call at 800-435-4000.
Suspect Fraud? Contact Us now.
If you suspect fraud or identity theft, the faster you act the better. Here is what you need to do, right now.
1. Contact us first.
Call 800-435-4000. If you are abroad, call +1-602-355-7300.
2. If we confirm unauthorized activity, let the credit bureaus know.
Equifax-Call 800-525-6285 or visit www.equifax.com, or write P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian-Call 888-397-3742 or visit www.experian.com, or write P.O. Box 9556, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion-Call 800-680-7289, or visit www.transunion.com, or write P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634
3. After contacting the credit bureaus, notify the appropriate government agency.
Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Site to learn more.
Questions or comments about information security at Schwab?
Call us at 877-862-6352.