About This Site

Why It's a Secure Site

How Secure Is My Information?

This site takes precautions to help maintain the privacy and security of your information. For example, you're required to enter a valid user ID, Password, Personal Identification Number (PIN), or other identifier before any personal or financial information can be displayed. This site encrypts the information while it's being transmitted between our server and your browser. Also, if there's no activity on a page for an extended period of time, the site automatically logs you off. When that happens, you need to log on again with your user ID, Password, Personal Identification Number (PIN), or other identifier.

Why Are Cookies Important?

This site uses a common technique called "HTTP-header cookies" to identify one page request from another. The cookies this site creates do not contain any personal information. They inform the site if a page request comes from someone who has already logged on. Your browser may be set up to warn you whenever a site sends your browser a cookie. If an edit message pops up asking you to accept or reject the use of cookies, you should accept it. This site will not work without them.

What Is Encryption?

Encryption is a mathematical process that transforms a message to conceal its meaning. Encryption is used to protect messages from eavesdropping, tampering, or forgery over the Internet.

How Is Encryption Used by This Site?

This site is designed to encrypt personal information while it's being transmitted between our server and your browser. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used to implement this policy.

How Can I Tell That SSL Is in Effect?

If the URL of a secure document begins with "https://," the additional "s" on the end of the familiar HTTP indicates a secure channel to the server. Both Microsoft® Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator® display a padlock icon when security (SSL) is present.

Note: The padlock will be closed once a secure channel is established.

How Secure Is SSL?

SSL uses public-key encryption. This technology can use keys of various sizes. The size of the key (40-bit, 56-bit, 128-bit, etc.) is tied to a specific browser installation. The larger the key length and the greater the number of possible keys, the more difficult it is to decrypt the message-making it more secure. For example, messages encrypted with a 128-bit key are 3 × 1026 times harder to break than a message encrypted with a 40-bit key.

This site provides the maximum level of encryption supported by your browser. When you use this site at work, only the browsers provided or authorized by your employer should be used.

When you use this site at home, you can download browsers with 128-bit encryption or higher from either Netscape or Microsoft at no cost other than telephone time. The encryption technology in these browsers is subject to U.S. export regulations and U.S. laws, and generally may not be exported to certain countries. For more information, visit the browser manufacturer's website.

Why Do I Need to Use a Particular Browser?

To maximize the privacy of your information and provide a consistent visual presentation, a relatively current and capable browser is required. For example, the browser must support JavaScript™, cookies, and SSL. For enhanced security, we require using a browser version that supports 128-bit SSL encryption or higher.

Browser and Software Considerations

You can best experience this site on the following supported browsers and software:

  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 8.0
  • Firefox® 3.5
  • Safari™ 4.0
  • Google™ Chrome 2.0
  • Browser Settings enable JavaScript™, cookies, and 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption
  • Adobe® Reader® 6.0
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 8.0 or higher