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Privacy & Security

Protect Your Information

When dealing with ways to protect your personal information, there’s a laundry list of items to cover. We’ve put together the following essential tips to get you going.

Tip: These suggested steps aren’t meant to imply a complete security solution, only to illustrate common security issues. The various products and clickable links on this page are for convenience and aren’t endorsements. With the exception of Equifax, Capital One Investing doesn’t have a relationship with these companies.

Protect your password

Do keep your password top-secret. It’s the key that starts and drives your account.

Don’t use the same password on that you use on other web sites. If a hacker steals a shared password from a less-secure web site, they may use it to jump into your account.

Don’t share confidential information (such as your Social Security number or your mother’s maiden name) with others.

Do change your password on a regular basis. Frequently changing your password helps reduce the chance a bad person will gain access your account.

Update your computer

Do educate yourself about home network security.

Do install critical system updates for your computer’s Operating System and Internet Browser. These systems updates help you uncover and wipe out newly-discovered vulnerabilities.

Operating Systems

Internet Browsers

Do install Anti-Virus programs and scan your system on a regular basis. Update virus definitions often to stay protected.

Do install multiple anti-spyware programs, update your software definitions, and scan your system on a regular basis to ensure all spyware gets caught. Many of these options are free to use or try.

Do use encryption if you’re using a wireless internet connection. This information is specific to the manufacturer of your wireless hardware.

Use email wisely

Do review our Email Communication Security statement.

Don’t open attachments or click on links in an e-mail that you weren’t expecting (like from the king of Nigeria offering you a great deal on airline tickets to his kingdom). Please take a quick minute to contact the sender and to make sure a real friend or acquaintance sent the email.

Don’t send your username, password, credit card number or other personal information via e-mail to anyone. E-mail isn’t a secure way to communicate private information.

Don’t enter personal information into forms you receive through e-mail, even if it appears to be legitimate. This may be someone phishing (a way to steal your identity by creating fake e-mails or web pages that look official) for information.

Do contact us if you receive an email you think is fraudulent. You can forward the suspect e-mail to

Guard your identity

Do report lost or stolen checks and credit cards immediately. Blocking fraudulent charges before they occur is much easier than trying to repair damage to your credit history.

Don't ever loan out your ATM or credit card. Once it leaves your hands, you won’t have a way of controlling what is done with this information. Then, you may notice some weird charges and it may be too late.

Do check your credit report on a regular basis. You’re able to get a free credit report once a year, and companies (like Equifax) offer more advanced services for a fee.

See our ID Theft Toolkit image of a PDF icon for more information on how to protect yourself.