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Our People and Our Policies


Merrill Lynch's employees protect your information by following internal Privacy and Security policies:


  • Access to client information is granted for legitimate purposes only.
  • Our employees globally receive annual mandatory training on information security and privacy policies and procedures, including incident reporting and current industry threats.


We may ask you to confirm certain pieces of information, such as your Social Security number and mother's maiden name, when you initiate contact with us by phone or online. We do not call and ask you for information; you provided your information to us on forms and documents when you opened your accounts. If we are unable to authenticate your identity over the phone, we will contact your branch office or Financial Advisor.

Our authentication standards

Merrill Lynch protects your information with strict authentication standards; this is how we confirm it's you:

At the branch:

  • Your Financial Advisor and his/her associates have a personal relationship with you. They collect information about you to understand your investment and transactions needs and practices.

On the phone:

  • We follow strict, documented procedures to validate your identity.
  • We offer all clients the opportunity to create a telephonic security code to securely access account information over the phone.


  • In order to gain access to your account information, your account profile, your account history, etc., you must enter a valid ID and password first.
  • Merrill Lynch is currently investigating the use of additional online authentication techniques, such as challenge questions and two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication offers enhanced security over the usual combination of username and password. We may require our clients to also provide a second piece of information generated by a "digital security ID" in their possession. These electronic devices (about the size of a small keychain) provide clients with a unique personal access code that changes every 60 seconds.

Our incident response and resolution procedures

If you suspect that you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud, Merrill Lynch's employees are well trained in incident response and resolution procedures.

  • If you suspect identity theft or fraud, please call us at
    1-800-MERRILL (637-7455), or contact your Financial Advisor. Our client services teams are trained to help you spot phishing or other attempts at fraud.
  • We encourage you to report any theft or fraud that affects your personal or financial information. We can even help provide guidance in non-Merrill Lynch related incidents.
  • We use a consistent and integrated approach to quickly respond to any reported or suspected identity theft and fraud or information breach.
  • We provide assistance for affected individuals via elevated security safeguards, notification processes and access to fraud investigators.

If you need to report identity theft or fraud, or if you have questions, please call us at phone 1-800-MERRILL (637-7455), or contact your Financial Advisor.



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