How does encryption work?

Everything that travels through cyberspace during your online banking session, from your password to your instructions to transfer funds, becomes a string of unrecognisable numbers before entering the Internet. Both Online Banking computers and the browser you use to surf the Web understand the mathematical formulas, called algorithms, that turn your banking session into a numeric code, and back again to meaningful information.

These algorithms serve as locks on the vaults of your loan information. And while Online Banking systems and your computer can easily translate this code back to meaningful language, this process would be a daunting, almost impossible task for unauthorised intruders. That's because there are billions of possible keys that could potentially solve each formula - but only one that will work. Each time you begin an online banking session, your computer and Online Banking systems agree on a random number that serves as the key for the rest of the conversation. What that random number could be depends largely on the strength of encryption your browser utilises.

What's the difference between standard encryption and strong encryption?

The difference between these two types of encryption is one of capability. Strong encryption is exponentially more powerful than Normal encryption. Think of it this way: 40-bit encryption, also called normal encryption, means there are 240 possible keys that could fit into the lock that holds your account information. That means there are many billion (a 1 followed by 12 zeroes) of possible keys. 128-bit encryption, also called strong encryption, means there are 2128 (three followed by 26 zeroes) times as many key combinations than there are for 40-bit encryption. That means a computer would require exponentially more processing power than 40-bit encryption to find the correct key.

Which browsers support "strong encryption"?

Any browser that supports Verisign Global Certificates may be used to access the internet site. This includes Microsoft's Internet Explorer (version 4 or newer) and Netscape Navigator (version 4.6 or newer). These browsers may be downloaded free from the internet or installed from CD's provided with computer magazines and available at your local newsagent for minimal cost.

How do I know if my banking session is encrypted?(ie.Safe)

You know that your data has been encrypted on a given Web page by looking for the following icons in the lower portion of your browser.

Netscape Communicator 4.0 Netscape Netscape
Microsoft Internet Explorer (any version) Internet Explorer.

NOTE: Netscape displays the icon in the lower left corner of the browser. Microsoft displays the icon in the lower right corner of the browser. In addition, Netscape Communicator 4.0 displays the icon in the navigator toolbar.

Netscape Communicator 4.0 and Microsoft Explorer do not display an icon that distinguishes between 40-bit and 128-bit encryption. However, with Netscape Communicator 4.0, you can click on the icon to determine what level of encryption is being used for a particular Web page.

All Online Banking approved browsers provide detailed information on security levels in the "Preferences" or "Internet Options" section located in the browser's menu bar. See your browser's help or documentation for more information.

We ensure that all Online Banking sessions via the Internet are encrypted.

If for any reason your secure session ends, your Online Banking session terminates.

What type of encryption do I need?

Requires you to use 128-bit encryption (also called strong encryption).

A few handy tips on Internet Banking

Protect your Access Code. Your Access Code, along with your Client Number, is the access key to your financial information. Make sure you memorise your Access Code and do not reveal it to anyone.

It is important to properly sign off after an Internet Banking session. If you forget, we will automatically sign you off after a certain period of time has elapsed.

Remember you can only transfer funds between your own accounts.