Vanguard Security Issue?

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OU812?
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Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by OU812? » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:30 pm

Last week I received a letter in the mail from Vanguard:

"We're writing to alert you to changes to your account activity alerts text messaging service. According to our records, this service was discontinued on 11/17/2019 at 01:11 PM."

I knew I hadn't made any changes to my VG account, I wasn't even anywhere near a computer on the date and time given. Fearing a security breach, I logged into my account and sent a secure email stating that I had made no such changes and demanding to know what logon was used and from what IP (I use a hardware key for logon authentication). I also re-enabled text message alerts.

Three days later I received this PRICELESS reply:

"Thank you for your email regarding account activity alerts.

When reviewing your accounts, it appears this was due to our systematic
account alert maintenance. Please read and accept the updated terms and
conditions; then you may change your alert preferences. In order to do
this, please follow the instructions listed below:

1. Log onto vanguard.com.
2. Under "My Accounts", select the "Account maintenance" link from the
dropdown menu.
3. On the "Account maintenance" page, select the "Account activity and
appointment alerts" link.

This will allow you to edit your account activity alert settings and
delivery method."

Did this happen to anyone else? So instead of apologizing for changing my account alert settings without my authorization, Vanguard just says "Oh sorry, we did it, and then we sent you a letter implying that YOU (or a hacker) did it, but here's how you can undo the changes." I wonder how many tens of thousands of dollars in postage and paper was wasted on this "systematic account alert maintenance"....

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue? discontinued text alerts

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:38 am

I just received the same letter except the date and time are different. My changes occurred "on 02/01/2020 at 01:34 am." I'm confident that I wasn't logged on at 1:34 am. Given that it was just after midnight on the first of the month, I think it is likely also system maintenance. I've sent Vanguard a message, have enabled the texting alerts and will change my password.

I don't recall ever getting text messages from Vanguard other than security codes for two factor authentication.

Anyone else get one of these messages?

11cents
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by 11cents » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:27 pm

I did, with the timestamp 02/01/2020 1:35 am for the supposed change. I don't think I ever had text alerts enabled.

nix4me
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by nix4me » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:29 pm

Vanguard’s IT and security are a joke.

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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:06 pm

Actually, it's so good sometimes their own users can't even access it!

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southerndoc
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by southerndoc » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:59 pm

nix4me wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:29 pm
Vanguard’s IT and security are a joke.
Vanguard has an IT department?

IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 am

Following up on my post from a few days ago- heard back from Vanguard. So no problems, a little better message would be nice.

"Our records are showing that prior to February 1, 2020, you were enrolled
in our Account Activity Text Alert Service.

You had been inactive in text alert messaging for over 18 months. Clients
who are have been inactive in text alert messaging for over 18 months will
be systemically unenrolled from our Text Alert Service.

When a client is unenrolled from the service, they will receive a
confirmation letter from Vanguard for their records.

I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused for you."

11cents
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by 11cents » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am

I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.

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Wiggums
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by Wiggums » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:53 am

11cents wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.
They should have just prompted people to accept the new terms. Sounds like the change wasn’t well thought out.

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abuss368
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:39 pm

I have not heard or experienced this. Actually I would be thankful for the inconvenience (because that is all it is) and prefer to receive an alert that we can immediately look into.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success." || Buy Total Stock until it hurts. Then find a way to buy even more!

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abuss368
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm

11cents wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.
Have you by chance selected "remember this computer" when signing in? I wonder if that stops the texts.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success." || Buy Total Stock until it hurts. Then find a way to buy even more!

TropikThunder
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by TropikThunder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:47 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:39 pm
I have not heard or experienced this. Actually I would be thankful for the inconvenience (because that is all it is) and prefer to receive an alert that we can immediately look into.
I don’t understand what you’re saying. Which inconvenience, having them turn it off for you and having to turn it back on? What if you get hacked while their letter is in the mail and you don’t know the service is off? Unlikely I know but possible.

TropikThunder
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by TropikThunder » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:51 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
11cents wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.
Have you by chance selected "remember this computer" when signing in? I wonder if that stops the texts.
That would completely defeat the purpose of the text alerts. They aren’t there to tell you what you just did, they’re there to tell you what someone else just did.

But no, “remember this computer” doesn’t stop the texts. When I made my IRA contribution in January (from my home computer) I immediately got text confirmation.

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abuss368
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:59 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:51 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
11cents wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.
Have you by chance selected "remember this computer" when signing in? I wonder if that stops the texts.
That would completely defeat the purpose of the text alerts. They aren’t there to tell you what you just did, they’re there to tell you what someone else just did.

But no, “remember this computer” doesn’t stop the texts. When I made my IRA contribution in January (from my home computer) I immediately got text confirmation.
I have heard of that happening with some financial institutions and that is why I asked the question.
John C. Bogle - Two Fund Portfolio: Total Stock & Total Bond. "Simplicity is the master key to financial success." || Buy Total Stock until it hurts. Then find a way to buy even more!

11cents
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Re: Vanguard Security Issue?

Post by 11cents » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:04 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
11cents wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:36 am
I got a similar response -- which begged the question: if I'd been enrolled in the text service but had received no texts in 18 months, then what's the text service for? I'd assumed it was to notify you of account activity, and there'd been plenty of that.

At any rate, I also called Vanguard support and got a somewhat different explanation. He said there had been a terms and service change which users needed to agree to. So they'd stopped everyone's service and sent out what he readily acknowledged to be a poorly worded letter.
Have you by chance selected "remember this computer" when signing in? I wonder if that stops the texts.
Yes -- but I do get email notifications when there's activity on my account. The Account Maintenance page gives you that option. I think I never had it set up for text alerts, and that not only was the notification letter poorly worded but they sent it out to people who shouldn't have gotten it.

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