Security of Web Transactions

How Safe is it to Submit Private Information over the Web?

ITS has taken appropriate measures to protect information that you enter on our webpages. Here is what you should know:

Your Responsibilities:

Do not let the technical security wizardry mentioned here make you forget about practicing some common sense:
  • Do not let others watch over your shoulder as you are typing.
  • If you do not know where your browser has been (the browser was already running and, during its run, was used to view webpages all over the Internet), we recommend that you quit the browser and start it again before using it to provide confidential information.
  • Most important, quit the browser when you are finished.

Encryption:

Webpages that contain private information are encrypted. The URL for such pages usually start with https:// (instead of http://). Encryption disguises data so that it is practically impossible for someone to intercept and read confidential information as it travels from your computer to our server.

Time Limit:

Some pages may have a time limit enforced so that they will become unavailable if you do not finish using them within a specified period of time.

Caching:

Although encryption disguises data as it travels over the network, some web browsers may keep a readable copy of the pages on the local microcomputer disk so that it does not have to retrieve it from the web server again. This is referred to as caching. Our secure pages are not cached by the web browsers listed below (and most others) because they contain codes to disable caching on a per-page basis.

Whenever possible, you should turn off caching of secure pages on your browser. Here is a list of specific versions of browsers and how to turn off caching or how to empty disk and memory cache if you cannot turn off caching.

There is a difference between turning off caching and emptying disk cache. The only browser you can turn off caching is Internet Explorer 6 - Windows 98 or later. This should be done before entering any secure webpages. For Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Windows 98 or later, Internet Explorer 5.0 - Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x, Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x, you need to empty the disk cache and memory cache if applicable after you have finished visiting secure webpages.

Here are the instructions for turning off caching or emptying disk and memory cache below. If your browser version is not in this list, consult your browser documentation or the vendor's technical support:


Internet Explorer 6 - Windows 98 or later
Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Windows 98 or later

Internet Explorer 5.x - Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x
Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Macintosh OS 8.6 - 9.x


Internet Explorer 6 - Windows 98 or later

IE5-Win95/98
- Menu Bar (Tools) Screen

  • Go to 'Tools' on the menu bar then go to 'Internet Options'


IE5-Win95/98
- Internet Options Screen

  • Click on the 'Advanced' tab.
  • Next scroll down until you get to the Security section
  • Check 'Do not save encrypted pages to disk.'





Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Windows 98 or later

Netscape4.7-Win95/98
- Menu bar (Edit) Screen

  • Go to 'Edit' on the menu bar then go to 'Preferences'



Netscape4.7-Win95/98
- Preferences Screen

  • Double click on the 'Advanced' tab.
  • Next click on 'Cache'
  • Press the 'Clear Disk Cache'



Internet Explorer 5.x - Macintosh

IE5-Mac -
Menu Bar (Edit) Screen

  • Go to 'Edit' on the menu bar then go to 'Preferences'





IE5-Mac -
Prefrences Screen

  • Double click on 'Advanced' .
  • Go to the 'Cache' section
  • Press the 'Empty Now' button





Netscape Communicator 6.23 - Macintosh

Netscape4.7-Mac
- Menu Bar (Edit) Screen

  • Go to 'Edit' on the menu bar then go to 'Preferences'





Netscape4.7-Mac
- Preferences Screen

  • Double click on 'Advanced' .
  • Double click on 'Cache'
  • Press the 'Clear Disk Cache Now' button
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Article ID: 691
Created: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 9:39am
Modified: Mon, 12 May 2008 1:19pm