Schwab launches cyber security resource SchwabSafe

Source: Charles Schwab

Today, Schwab announced the launch of SchwabSafe, an online resource with perspectives and tips on cyber security for clients.

The first investment services firm to provide a Security Guarantee that covers 100% of any losses in any Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity (launched nearly 10 years ago), Schwab continues to expand its resources for online security and fraud prevention to include educational programs such as SchwabSafe, client seminars and live consultations, and its numerous behind-the-scenes methods of authenticating clients to safeguard client accounts against unauthorized activity and fraud.

“It has always been our practice to make clients whole in cases of unauthorized account activity. The security guarantee turned that historic practice into a public promise 10-years ago,” said Jim McGuire, chief information officer at Schwab. “While a guarantee provides a safety net, everyone has a role to play in security protection. We provide multiple behind-the-scenes methods of authenticating clients and we encourage our clients to learn as much as they can about safe online security practices - not just for their interaction with us, but in all aspects of online commerce,” McGuire said.

The terms of the Schwab Security Guarantee are available here.

The company also announced today it will enhance its password protocols beginning in August 2015, to include the following parameters:

Can be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 234 characters
Must include at least one number
Must include at least one letter
Will be case-sensitive
Will be able to include commonly used symbols
Will be able to include internal spaces

“While password complexity is only one part of information security, we knew that many of our clients wanted greater flexibility in choosing passwords across our electronic channels so we’re pleased to be launching that initiative this August as well. Technology and security are always evolving, these changes are part of an ongoing process of enhancements to Schwab’s existing client authentication and fraud detection capabilities which will continue over time,” McGuire said.
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Schwab clients will not be required to change their existing passwords, but will now have the ability to choose a longer and/or more complex password if they wish to do so. While clients do not have to take advantage of the new password enhancements, Schwab does encourage periodically changing passwords as a routine best practice for account security. Other recommended best practices involving passwords include the following:

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.
For maximum peace of mind, consider getting a free security token, which can make every login even more secure. Tokens are available by calling 800-435-4000.

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