NinjaPigeon - My Flight to Financial Independence

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vanguard Security Changes

I've been hearing for several months that Vanguard has slowly been phasing their customer base into the new security system. This morning I received an email notifying me that it was my turn.

When I logged into Vanguard it brought up a notice telling me that I'd need to change my security. After hitting continue it informed me that I'd need to perform two steps:
  • Select and name my security image.

  • Select and answer three security questions.

I cliked the button to get started, and was presented with an image selected on my behalf. It wasn't really my style so I clicked a button allowing me to pick a different one. There are 10 pages of 8 images to choose from. Once you pick one, you enter a name for the image and continue.

You are then given a screen where you choose questions from a drop down list. I'm a little disappointed they didn't follow Emigrant Direct's lead and allow free-form questions, but this is still quite a step up from before.

At the bottom of that screen there is a checkbox labeled "Check this box if this is a public computer or you don't plan to use it again to access your accounts." I'm not so sure I like them remembering my computer. I never click the option for that on ING Direct, and they nag me everytime.

The Vanguard wording seems to encourage you to always use the same computer. Personally, I'd rather that they always ask me my security question. However, that's gonna require that I click that checkbox every single time I log in to keep it from remembering me. Contrast that with ING, which does the opposite by having you click the checkbox to make it remember you.

Once you are at the end, you click submit and you are brought to a screen that reminds you of the new features and shows you your security image and its name one last time.

This is certainly an improvement over the previous authentication methods, and I'm glad to see the industry moving in this direction. Hopefully it will become a standard that other banks adopt in the near future.


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