Online Security

As a Wells Fargo Advisors client, your privacy and security always comes first. For more than 160 years Wells Fargo has been dedicated to customer safety and protection, and our mission remains as strong as ever.

In addition, under federal law, Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfer Act) provides certain protections to consumer customers when there is unauthorized account activity. Regulation E covers electronic fund transfer activity through a checking, savings, or other consumer asset account at a financial institution used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. All of the protections provided by Regulation E are incorporated into our Online Security Guarantee. In addition, our Online Security Guarantee expands these protections to cover other types of unauthorized transactions, including certain business and brokerage monetary transactions as described above. Learn how our guarantee works.

Learn how we can protect you and how you can protect yourself by recognizing, preventing, and reporting fraudulent activity.

How We Protect You

How to Protect Yourself

How We Protect You

Individualized password. When you sign up for online access, Wells Fargo Advisors asks you to create your own username and password to access your accounts. This information is encrypted during transmission. We strongly recommend that you do not use your Social Security number as a username or password. To create a new username or change your password, sign on to Access Online and go to Customer Service.

Wells Fargo Advisors may request a client’s Access Online username to authenticate the client by phone or email; however, we do not request a client’s Access Online password to verify their identity. Wells Fargo Advisors emails may include an Access Online sign-on link. If there is ever a question regarding the legitimacy of an email, our clients should visit and sign on from the homepage.

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Security questions. Wells Fargo Advisors requires Access Online users to select three security questions and provide answers. If we ever need to confirm your identity, your correct answers to these security questions will help us verify it’s you.

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Timed logoff. Wells Fargo Advisor’s system will automatically log you off from Access Online after 15 minutes of inactivity. This reduces the risk of others accessing your information from your unattended computer.

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Firewall. Wells Fargo’s computer systems are protected 24 hours a day by a powerful firewall that blocks unauthorized entry. In order to gain access to authorized information, the Web browser you are using must know the proper protocol, or language, and even then only select information is available.

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Encryption. From the moment account information leaves your computer to the time it enters Wells Fargo’s system, all online access and Bill Pay sessions are encrypted. Wells Fargo employs some of the strongest forms of encryption commercially available for use on the Web today.

During any transaction, our 128-bit encryption turns your information into a coded sequence with billions of possible variations, making it nearly impossible for unwanted intruders to decipher. Wells Fargo’s computers possess the proper formulas to turn this code back into meaningful information and complete your transaction.

Look for a “closed lock” icon in the lower right-hand corner (Microsoft Internet Explorer), in the right end of the address bar (Firefox 2), or in the top right corner (Safari) of your browser to determine if encryption is being used on any webpage you are viewing. Any Web address beginning with “https://...” indicates the page you are viewing uses encryption. The “s” stands for “secured.”

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Constant surveillance. Wells Fargo’s security team maintains and monitors our security systems to make sure that your accounts are safe and secure.

Technology updates. To resist constantly evolving online threats, Wells Fargo has adopted proven industry standards for technology to protect your account security.

In addition, Wells Fargo collaborates closely with major Internet software manufacturers like Microsoft®, Mozilla®, and Apple® to ensure that new Web browsers meet our high security standards and can be included in our list of supported browsers. We currently support the following browsers:

Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) 11.X

  • MSIE for Windows

Learn how to upgrade your Windows Internet Explorer.

Mozilla Firefox 30 or higher

  • Mozilla Firefox

Apple Safari 5.X

  • Safari for Mac OS X
  • Safari for Windows
Google® ChromeTM 13.X or higher

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Additional security measures. Wells Fargo’s layered approach to online security extends beyond a unique username and password, 128-bit encryption, a powerful firewall, technology updates, and continuous surveillance. We have additional security measures that may be activated in response to certain activities or events. If we are suspicious of any online behavior, we may restrict online access to accounts or prevent certain types of transactions. These measures safeguard your identity and your accounts. Further proof of identity may be required before online access is restored.

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How to Protect Yourself

Online security tips. 

  • Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password. Change your usernames and passwords regularly and use combinations of letters, numbers, and “special characters” such as “pound” (#) and “at” (@) signs. Do not use your online brokerage password as a password for other online accounts.

    If your current Wells Fargo Advisors username or password is your Social Security number, change it by following these directions:

    • Sign in to Access Online.
    • Click on the Customer Service tab.
    • Select Change Username or Change Password.
  • Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone.
  • Protect your answers to security questions. Select questions and provide answers that are easy for you to remember but hard for anyone else to guess. Do not write down your security questions or answers or share them with anyone. If you have selected security questions on other websites, avoid using the same questions to protect your Wells Fargo Advisors online account. Please note that we will never ask you to provide answers to your security questions via email.
  • Use secure websites for transactions and shopping. Shop with merchants you know and trust. Make sure Internet purchases are secured with encryption to protect your account information. Look for “secure transaction” symbols like a lock symbol in the lower right-hand corner of your Web browser window or “https://…” in the address bar of the website. The “s” indicates “secured” and means the webpage uses encryption.
  • Always log off from any website after making a purchase with your credit or debit card or other sensitive information. If you cannot log off, shut down your browser to prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
  • Close your browser when you’re not using the internet.
  • Be cautious when using public hotspots and consider your Wi-Fi auto-connect settings.
  • Social media is increasingly popular, but it’s a good idea to keep certain personal information private. Avoid sharing personal details that are used by financial institutions to identify you, such as your birth date, home address, mother’s maiden name, high school name, and pet’s name. Fraudsters may use this type of information to help gain access to an account since they are common answers to security questions.
  • Always carefully review the privacy options for any social network you join. The privacy options and tools for social networks can be complex and should be reviewed carefully so that there is no disclosure of information you meant to remain private.

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Mobile banking security tips.

When you use a mobile device for browser or text-based account access, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use the keypad lock or phone lock function on your mobile device when it is not in use. These functions password-protect your device to make it more difficult for someone else to view your information. Also be sure to store your device in a secure location.
  • Frequently delete text messages from your financial institution, especially before loaning out, discarding, or selling your mobile device.
  • Never disclose via text message, phone call or email your personal or financial information, including account numbers, passwords, Social Security number or birth date.
  • If you lose your mobile device or change your mobile phone number, remove the old number from your mobile banking profile at or call customer service at 1-866-863-6762.
  • Avoid storing your banking password or other sensitive information on your smartphone where it could be discovered if your phone is stolen.
  • Keep your mobile operating system up to date to ensure the highest level of protection. Before downloading an update to your mobile device be sure to go to the company’s website to confirm the update is legitimate.
  • Be cautious when using public hotspots. Carefully consider your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection settings, even at a trusted retailer, as fraudsters can spoof the name of reputable hotspots.

Applications are programs you can download to your mobile device. Applications or “apps” that let you monitor your finances and conduct certain transactions are increasing in popularity.

  • Download mobile apps from reputable sources only to ensure the safety of your personal and account information. We encourage users to download the most recent versions of our apps and keep them updated. Our apps are supported by Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, and Palm devices. You can download the Wells Fargo app by visiting the associated App Store and searching for “Wells Fargo” or visit on your phone’s browser and click the “Get the app” banner.
  • For your security, sign off when you finish using a Wells Fargo app rather than just closing it.
  • If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a Wells Fargo mobile banking app, access your account through our mobile banking site at

QR codes (quick response codes) are two-dimensional barcodes that can be scanned with a mobile device to provide easy access to online information. Much like links in email, QR codes can be used by fraudsters to send you to websites that may request your personal and financial information or could corrupt your mobile device.

  • Treat QR codes with the same suspicion as you would any URL or link you find in an email.
  • Use a QR code scanner from a reputable source that will check links for malicious content before loading them in your browser. This capability can be found in the app description before downloading.
  • Use caution on which QR codes to scan as some may have been tampered with if posted in a public place.

example QR code

If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a mobile banking app, Web-enabled mobile phone users can bookmark and visit, our official mobile banking site.

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Computer security tips.

  • Avoid downloading programs from unknown sources.
  • Keep your computer operating system up to date to ensure the highest level of protection.
  • Install a personal firewall on your computer.
  • Install, run, and keep anti-virus and other software updated.
  • Turn your computer off completely when you are finished using it — do not leave it in sleep mode.
  • Be wary of conducting online banking activities on computers that are shared by others. Public computers (computers at internet cafes, copy centers, etc.) should be used with caution, due to shared use and possible tampering. Online banking activities and viewing or downloading documents (statements, etc.) should be conducted, when possible, on a computer you know to be safe and secure.
  • Ensure your computer operating system, software, browser version and plug-ins are current. Before downloading an update to your computer program, first go to the company’s website to confirm the update is legitimate.
  • Configure your devices to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your devices or home network. For example, if you use a home wireless router for your home internet connection, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to configure the router with appropriate security settings.

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Email security tips.

  • Be wary of suspicious e-mails. Never open attachments, click on links, or respond to e-mails from suspicious or unknown senders. Learn more about fraudulent emails.
  • Check up on the latest e-mail fraud activity Wells Fargo is investigating.
  • If you receive a suspicious e-mail that you think is a phish e-mail, do not respond or provide any information. Send the e-mail to
  • If you respond to a phish e-mail with personal information, contact 1-866-867-5568.

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General fraud prevention tips. Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud:

  • Carry only necessary information with you. Leave your Social Security card and unused credits cards at home in a safe and secure location.
  • Make photocopies (front and back) of vital information you carry regularly and store them in a secure place, such as a safety deposit box. Then, if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, you have contact information and account numbers readily available.
  • Do not provide your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you are uncomfortable with a phone call that was not initiated by you, hang up or ask for the purpose of the call. Then contact the company using legitimate sources such as contact phone numbers found on the company’s website, your bank statements, and those listed on your ATM, debit, or credit card.
  • Never provide payment information on a call that you didn’t initiate.
  • Replace paper invoices, statements, and checks with electronic versions, if offered by your employer, bank, utility provider, or merchant.
  • If you have an online account, you can reduce paper statements by signing up for Online Statements.
  • Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding. Many fraud and identity theft incidents happen as a result of mail and garbage theft.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at You can obtain a copy at any time directly from:
  • Subscribe to a daily credit monitoring service, such as Wells Fargo’s Identity Theft Protection, which includes up to $10,000 in identity theft insurance, a personal credit report, and triple-bureau quarterly updates. (Restrictions and fees apply; refer to terms and conditions.)
  • Promptly retrieve mail and place outgoing mail in a U.S. Postal Service mailbox, instead of your home mailbox, to reduce the chance of mail theft. Consider paperless options for your bills and financial statements.
  • Know your billing and statement cycles. Contact the company's customer service department if you stop receiving your regular bill or statement.

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Report Fraud and Identity Theft

Fraud is usually limited to an isolated attempt to steal money from an existing account, such as a charge on a stolen credit card. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to open new accounts or initiate transactions in your name.

If you believe you are a victim of fraud:
Call Wells Fargo immediately if you notice suspicious activity related to your Wells Fargo accounts.
  • Fraudulent activity on Wells Fargo account(s)
  • Fraudulent Wells Fargo emails (phish) and websites*
    You will get an automated confirmation email.
  • Lost/stolen checks and debit/ATM cards, or suspicious debit/ATM transactions
  • Lost/stolen credit cards or suspicious credit card transactions
  • Other suspicious online banking transactions


If you believe you are a victim of identity theft:
Contact Wells Fargo Call us immediately at 1-800-869-3557
Contact the major credit bureaus You can request that the three main credit bureaus place a short or long-term fraud alert on your credit file. This alert requires creditors to verify your identity before opening any new accounts in your name or changing any existing accounts. You will only need to contact one bureau, which will notify the others.

Credit bureaus must provide victims of identity theft a free copy of their credit report. You should request one from each bureau, as the information can differ. Review your credit reports carefully for fraudulent activity. If fraud has occurred, notify the credit bureau and the companies where accounts were opened to report the fraud directly.

Once a dispute has been resolved, the credit bureaus you contacted will send you another copy of your credit report. Review the report to make sure that all fraudulent activity has stopped and your file has been corrected.

For more information about the steps to take and for credit reports, contact:

Contact other creditors Contact your other creditors, including credit card and phone companies, banks, and other lenders, to notify them of potential fraud or identity theft. Consider following up your telephone conversations with a letter.

Close any accounts that have been breached and reopen them with new account numbers and passwords. Do not use your Social Security number as a username or password.

File a report with the local police Contact your local police department if you suspect that your personal or financial information was stolen. A police report may lend credibility to your case when dealing with creditors, who may require proof of criminal activity.
Report the criminal activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Call the FTC hotline at 1-877-ID THEFT (1-877-438-4338) to speak with a trained identity theft counselor or you can submit a complaint to the FTC on their website,
Contact other agencies as appropriate
  • Postal Inspection Service: If you believe your mail was stolen or redirected, notify your local post office.
  • Social Security Fraud Hotline: 1-800-269-0271. If you suspect someone is using your Social Security number for fraudulent purposes, call the hotline.
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): If you believe someone is trying to get a driver’s license or identification card using your name and information, contact your local DMV.
Carefully review all your accounts Since identity theft takes time to resolve, you should continue to review all charges and transactions appearing on account statements and online. Immediately report any discrepancies.

Wells Fargo’s Identity Theft Repair Kit (PDF*) provides worksheets and tips for resolving identity theft.

More Information on Identity Theft and Fraud

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For help with online services and Access Online support, call us at 1-877-879-2495 or email us at

For help with opening a new account, call us at 1-866-224-5708.

For help with an existing account, contact your Financial Advisor or call us at 1-800-359-9297.

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