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Vanguard’s “Enhanced” Login

Written by Nickel - 5 Comments

The other day I logged into our Vanguard account and was greeted with the following message:

Enhanced logon is coming

Vanguard uses the most up-to-date technology to help ensure a safe and secure online investing environment. In the coming months, we’re enhancing our logon process to further protect you when you use Vanguard.com®.

Our new enhanced logon will safeguard your sensitive information. In a few months, you’ll set up your enhanced logon. The setup:

* Is one-time, quick, and easy.
* Is for your protection.
* Involves you picking an image and security questions to associate with your logon information.

Today, you enter your user name and password on the same screen. Soon, we’ll move the password field to a separate page.

In short, they’re implementing an image verification system similar to Bank of America’s SiteKey (ING also just added this). After entering your username on the first page and clicking “Log on,” you’re forwarded to a second page that displays a security image of your choosing. As long as you see the correct image, it’s safe to assume that you’re on the real Vanguard site, meaning that it’s safe to enter your password. They also keep track of the computer that you’re logging in from, so if you use a new computer you’ll be asked to answer one of three security questions.

Let’s just hope that Vanguard handles this changeover a bit more smoothly than Emigrant Direct did when they took their site down and couldn’t get it back online after the changeover.

Published on August 2nd, 2006
Modified on September 11th, 2006 - 5 Comments
Filed under: Online, Saving & Investing

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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5 Responses to “Vanguard’s “Enhanced” Login”

  1. 1
    mark ingle Says:

    I’m really glad that all these sites are beefing up security, it seems to be a cat and mouse game with the spyware thats out there.

  2. 2
    David Says:

    I agree with Mark above that its great that sites are doing it, but I am a little worried that they are all using the same system to help improve security. All it is going to take is some smart hacker to figure one system out, and its all over.

    I will give ING credit, as even though they used the image confirmation like the other ones, they ask several different questions as well that rotate each time you log in.

  3. 3
    James Says:

    The problem is, seeing the “SiteKey image” doesn’t conclusively prove that you are at the correct site… it can be faked. This is false security that fails to acknowledge the limitations of the underlying technology.

    Please see the paper at the below site for details.


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