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Tight Security to Keep Your Information Safe

The purpose of our website is to give you a convenient way to interact with us whenever you want to. It is also important for those interactions to be private and secure. We have spent a considerable amount of time and effort making sure that this site, and the data you can access from it, are secure and that only you can look at your account information.

IDs and PINs - User Authentication
Before you could get into this site, you had to enter your Oxford ID number and a PIN. This process is how we authenticate who you are so that only you have access to your account information. Once you have authenticated, you have complete access to your account information - this is why it is important not to share your PIN with anyone. In addition, when someone actually requests account information, we verify that the information is coming from the correct account and not someone else's account. This ensures that no one but you can access your information.

Giving the right people the right information is only part of the security built into our site. How can you be sure no one reads your information as it travels between you and us? The only way to make messages on the Internet unreadable to unwanted snoopers is to encrypt the data. (Encryption is a way of scrambling digital data using a mathematical formula so complex that the only practical way to decode it is with a "key," an extremely large number, that is only known to the destination computers.) The messages between your computer and us are encrypted using a technique called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. Our encryption process is certified by an independent company, Verisign, who verifies that the software and policies we use are in fact secure.

You can tell if a site is secure by looking at your Web browser. When you enter a secure site, many browsers will pop up a window alerting you to the fact that this is a secure site. In addition, Netscape users will see the broken key in the bottom left hand corner become a full key and turn blue. Internet Explorer users will see a lock appear in the bottom right hand corner of the browser.