Category Archives: Science

Schwab.com Password security – passwords limited to 8 characters

[Still true as of July 2013] Schwab.com limits passwords to between 6 and 8 letters or numbers.  It does not allow longer passwords nor does it allow special characters, such as “!” or “$” or “%”. Limiting the selection of characters and the length greatly increases the chances that someone could hack into accounts at schwab.com.

Perhaps the management isn’t aware of the vulnerabilities this causes.  As a Schwab client since around 1994, I have been concerned about this for years and with all the issues for large banks and financial institutions over the past few months.  Unfortunately Schwab still has not addressed it.

Feb 2013 update:  Schwab has not addressed this except to recommend two factor authentication, if requested. However, if you do not have your token generator, it becomes much more inconvenient to access Schwab. An 8 character password with only alphanumeric characters is practically negligent on Schwab’s part for any year after 1995.  For Schwab’s two factor authentication, the SchwabSafe Page has more information or call Schwab at 800-435-4000.

From Schwab.com:
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/legal_compliance/schwabsafe/your_questions_answered
“What format should my Schwab.com password take?
Your Schwab.com password should be a random combination of six to eight numbers and letters, with at least one number included between the first and last character. It should not be a significant sequence like your Social Security Number or birth date. ”

invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years – Benjamin Franklin

 “I wish it were possible …to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But…in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection”. 1773, Benjamin Franklin to Jacques Dubourg.