I recently purchased a townhome in historic Philadelphia. Although it was built in 1792, it’s new to me, and I’m eager to make it feel like my own. I may be more comfortable dialing 1-800-CONTRACTOR than using a power tool, but I think roaming the aisles of the local home-improvement store is a rite of passage for every new homeowner.

A kind, 70-year-old woman owned my home previously. Although I felt no sense of urgency to change the locks, I decided to do so shortly after receiving the keys. As I wandered through the hardware section, I was amazed at all of the options: a keyed door handle, a keyed deadbolt, an electronic deadbolt, and even an electronic, remote-activated deadbolt and door handle set. And that was just in Aisle 1.

In the end, I chose a classic keyed deadbolt with an antique finish. Maybe on a future trip, I’ll expand my search to more advanced home security options. (Who wouldn’t want a video doorbell?!)

It takes 2 (or more)

I know a lot about helping investors protect their personal information and accounts, but I’m admittedly out of my element when it comes to home security. Even so, I know it’s important to take precautions to protect my home now, with no tangible threat in sight.

Homeowners may have to make several trips to the store and invest thousands of dollars to protect their homes. Comparatively, investors have it pretty easy. (Sorry, homeowners. I feel your pain.) Most account security features are not only free to investors, they’re easy to opt into from the comfort of your home. But you still might need a little help.

As a homeowner, I have to trust the experts—associates at the hardware store, contractors, and fellow homeowners—to figure out the best way to secure my home. I also have to do my part, because even the best security camera with night vision is worthless if I don’t activate it.

The same holds true with investing. The confidence I have in Vanguard’s commitment to security isn’t just allegiance to my employer, it’s how I feel as an investor. I work hard for my money and depend on it to secure my future. So it makes sense that I’d only entrust it to a company that follows world-class security protocols and stays a step ahead of fraudsters. But it doesn’t end there; it’s also important that I do my part.

Protect your assets

In addition to the steps Vanguard takes to protect you, there are a few specific things we should all do to protect ourselves. I use the list below to ensure I’m doing everything I can to safeguard my personal and financial information, and you should too.

Protect your online identity

  • Use separate user IDs and passwords for each account.
  • Regularly update your security questions and answers.
  • Use caution (and common sense!) when sharing on social media.
  • Consider using a private computer or device (and a secure wi-fi connection) for all online banking.

Secure your devices

  • Download all security updates.
  • Regularly check your accounts for unauthorized activity.

Take advantage of enhanced security offerings

  • Sign up to receive security codes when logging on to vanguard.com or our mobile apps. This service cues Vanguard to send you a single-use code (by text or phone call) that you’ll enter after providing your user name and password. You can choose to receive a code every time you log on or only when Vanguard doesn’t recognize your computer or device.
  • Get account activity alerts by text or email when certain transactions are initiated or changes are made to your account profile.
  • Enroll in Vanguard Voice Verification™ to verify your identity using the sound of your voice. It gives you safer (and faster) access to your accounts when you call us.
  • Request an enhanced security password, which will be required before your accounts can be accessed by phone.
  • Restrict account access on unrecognized devices.

You can get more information and sign up for our security features here.

Expect the best

I’m proud to be a responsible homeowner and investor. By being diligent and taking the necessary steps to protect myself (personally and financially), I expect the best but I’m prepared for the worst. From one investor to another, I encourage you to do the same.

Note: All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.