How Encryption Works
- When visiting online banking's sign-on page, your browser establishes a secure session with our server.
- The secure session is established using a protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Encryption. This protocol requires the exchange of what are called public and private keys.
- Keys are random numbers chosen for that session and are only known between your browser and our server. Once keys are exchanged, your browser will use the numbers to scramble (encrypt) the messages sent between your browser and our server.
- Both sides require the keys because they need to descramble (decrypt) messages received. The SSL protocol assures privacy, but also ensures no other website can "impersonate" your financial institution's website, nor alter information sent.
- To learn whether your browser is in secure mode, look for the secured lock symbol at the bottom of your browser window.
What is Encryption and how does it protect me?
Encryption is a mathematical process of coding and decoding information. Encryption ensures that information is scrambled in transit so that only the intended recipient can decode it. The number of bits (40-bit, 56-bit, 128-bit, 256-bit) tells you the size of the key. Like a longer password, a larger key has more possible combinations. In fact, 128-bit encryption is one trillion times one trillion times stronger than 40-bit encryption. At current computing speeds, a hacker with the time, tools, and motivation to attack would require a trillion years to break into a session with 128-bit encryption.
To determine if your browser supports 128-bit encryption:
- Click "Help" in the toolbar of your Internet browser
- Click on "About [browser name]"
- A pop-up box or window will appear.
- For Internet Explorer: next to "Cipher strength" you should see "128-bit"
- For Netscape: you should see "This version supports high-grade (128-bit) security with RSA Public Key Cryptography"
If your browser does not support 128-bit encryption, you must upgrade to continue to access the website's secure pages.
Firefox and Safari browsers and DI
July 2005 --
- Firefox and Safari - Encryption levels
Both browsers recently designated as supported for use with DI products, Firefox 1.0 and Safari 1.2, use strong 128-bit encryption when accessing secure sites, to ensure safe and secure transmittal of private data such as account and payment information.
- Firefox and Safari - How end users can determine which levels of encryption they have
- Firefox - In Firefox, this option is not visible until connected to a site. Negotiation occurs between the client browser and the server at run-time. To view the encryption level being used while connected to a specific secure site, you can do the following:
- Click to the 'Tools' menu
- Select 'Page Info'
- Click the 'Security' tab<
Or: double-click the yellow 'lock' icon in the lower right corner of the screen while connected to a secure site.
Most browsers released since 2007 support 128-bit encryption, including:
- Internet Explorer