Best practices for protecting their account | American Funds

Security

For your clients: Best practices for protecting their account

Security is a joint effort. As soon as possible after opening an account, we encourage investors to: 

1.   Create a smart, custom password.

  • Their password should be unique and used only on americanfunds.com.
  • Longer passwords are stronger than shorter, more complex ones. We recommend at least 12 characters,     using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that are meaningful only to them.

Tip: An easy way for an investor to make a memorable password is to create a sentence or phrase incorporating letters, numbers and symbols.
Example:  IL0veTac0s:)

  • User names, account numbers and passwords should not be shared. Investors should be wary of requests for personal information online, by email or by phone.

 

2.   Activate account activity and security notifications and keep their email address up to date.

These notifications are automatically activated the first time your clients log in to their account. Notifications help investors monitor their account and respond more quickly to prevent fraud because we alert them immediately by email if changes to their account are initiated online. We notify them again when a change is processed.

Account activity notifications — Alert clients to transactions (e.g., withdrawals) or other account changes (e.g., bank information changes).

Security notifications — Alert clients to changes to personal information: physical address, email address, statement delivery preference, username or password.

 

3.   Sign up for e-delivery of important documents.

For clients who turn off paper delivery of statements, tax forms and other documents, we will notify them by email as soon as those documents are available to access through secure login. With e-delivery, your clients don't have to worry about shredding papers, and documents will never get lost in the mail.

Learn more

 

Stay safe online

Be observant

  • Review confirmations and statements promptly. If your clients spot unauthorized activity on their American Funds transaction confirmations, quarterly statements or email notifications, they should contact us immediately.
  • Be cautious about clicking on links, especially in emails. Clients can hover over links to see the underlying Web address. If they’re unsure about a link, they can go to the firm’s website by typing the correct address in their Web browser.
  • Look for the “last login” date/time stamp when logging in to americanfunds.com and other sites that provide such a stamp. If the stamp doesn’t correspond to their most recent visit, your investors should follow up.
  • Sign up for a credit-reporting service by contacting Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. If your investors find unauthorized accounts or charges, they should take the appropriate steps to make corrections if needed.

Keep computers secure

  • Use the latest operating system available for computers and devices and respond to software updates promptly. 
  • Activate security features such as pop-up blockers.
  • Use antivirus software. Your clients should consider installing antivirus software designed to detect and remove malicious software from their computers.
  • Set up a firewall to properly protect personal computers and home networks from malware.

Avoid public computers and Wi-Fi

  • Only use a known device to access financial and other sensitive personal information online.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to access financial records, banking transactions or other sensitive and personal information.

Protect physical documents

  • Promptly retrieve and secure incoming postal mail after delivery. Your clients should place outgoing mail in a U.S. postal service mailbox instead of their home mailboxes to reduce the chance of mail theft. Suspected mail theft should be reported to a postal inspector.
  • Look out for paper confirmations. We mail a confirmation to the address of record following address changes and website password updates. Your clients should make sure that they made or authorized the changes.
  • Protect Social Security numbers. Your clients should keep their cards in a safe place, avoid giving their numbers to others and take measures to keep any other documents containing the number confidential.
  • Shred documents. Before discarding, your clients should destroy all credit card offers, bank statements, junk mail and any other documents that may contain personal information about your client.

How we protect your clients’ accounts

See how American Funds protects your clients’ online accounts.

 


Fraud basics

Review types of online fraud and how to recognize them.

 


Investments are not FDIC-insured, nor are they deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any other entity, so they may lose value.

Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.