We use several layers of technology to ensure the confidentiality of your transactions.
- Browser Encryption
- Login Id and Password
- Network Security and Monitoring
- Security Definitions
We require the use of a 128-bit secure browser to access account information and perform transactions. Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, and Microsoft Internet Explorer are all secure browsers. If you are not using one of these browsers, or believe your browser does not meet North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s security requirements, use one of the following links to download an upgraded browser.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
AOL To upgrade to the enhanced AOL web browser with 128-bit encryption, use the keyword UPGRADE.
Remember that once you’ve downloaded the browser, you must install it on your computer. Follow the browser manufacturer’s instructions that appear on your screen.
Secure browsers employ Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to communicate with servers. This technology encrypts-or scrambles-the communication (i.e., your account information) so it’s virtually impossible for anyone other than North Dakota Housing Finance Agency to read it.
What is SSL?
SSL is a protocol to provide secure communications on the Internet. SSL does three things:
- SSL authenticates that the server you have connected to is the one it purports to be. You can be assured that you are actually communicating with North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, and not a third party trying to intercept the transaction.
- SSL creates a secure communication channel by encrypting all communication between the user and the server.
- SSL conducts a cryptographic word count to ensure data integrity between the server and the user. The word count or checksum provides a count of the number of bytes in a document and ensures the exact number of bytes is transmitted and received. With SSL, even this checksum is encrypted so it cannot be modified. If a message is not received in its entirety, it is rejected and another copy of the message is sent automatically.
How can I tell when my connection is secure?
The padlock or key icon on your browser, indicating a secure connection, should appear locked or connected AFTER you have successfully logged in to the website. The padlock icon may not appear locked on screens where you are not logged on and where we display general information about the site. However, you can be certain that any screen which displays or requests information about your account, login Id, password, application, or any other sensitive information is encrypted.
This website is secured using a Thawte Digital Certificate. This ensures that all information you send to us via the World Wide Web will be encrypted. If any other Internet user intercepts the communication he/she will only be able to see it in an encrypted (garbled) form. Certificate technology allows us to decrypt the information, and view it in plain text form. For more information on SSL digital certificates for web servers please see http://www.thawte.com/ssl-digital-certificates/trusted-site-seal/siteseal_consumer.html
Login ID and Password
To access account information, you must provide a login id and a password to enter the secure area of the site. Your login identification and password is specific to you individually and you will be the only authorized user of the Service under this Agreement and will be fully responsible for all activities that occur under your login identification. Accordingly, you should take precautions to protect the confidentiality and use of your Login ID (and sign-on password). North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has the right to cancel your registration for the Service if we learn that the information you provided is erroneous, fraudulent or misleading, or in the event of any misuse
Your password is not displayed when entered. Our system uses a “3 strikes and you’re out” lock-out mechanism to deter users from repeated login attempts. After three unsuccessful login attempts, the system locks the user out, requiring a phone call to North Dakota Housing Finance to verify the password before re-entry into the system. Upon successful login, the Digital ID from Thawte, authenticates the user’s identity and establishes a secure session with that visitor.
How can I protect myself?
Don’t share your password
Never reveal your password to anyone. Never write it down where anyone can find it or figure out what it is. Change your password often, and be sure that you do not use common words that can be found in a dictionary, or numbers in a series. Try using birthdays combined with pet names, or sports teams combined with a birthday for example. Never access NDHFA’s site from a computer that an untrusted individual may have access to. In addition, you should make sure that no one is physically watching as you enter your password. Also, take standard precautions to keep your computer free from viruses.
Please use our “Log Out” feature if you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time. Logout will end your session, and you will have to submit your login id and password before entering the website again. We strongly recommend shutting down your browser as a good way to prevent others from using your access.
After a period of inactivity, your current session on the website will automatically timeout. To restart your session, re-enter your login id and password at the login screen.
Network Security and Monitoring
Firewalls are used to shield North Dakota Housing Finance Agency systems and proprietary network from any unauthorized Internet traffic. The purpose of a firewall is to ensure only North Dakota Housing Finance Agency traffic is allowed to pass to North Dakota Housing Finance Agency systems and networks-all other traffic from the Internet is rejected. Firewalls also create logs of network traffic that allow for centralized auditing and security monitoring.
Inquiries sent through our website pages use Secure Socket Layer (“SSL”). Since our e-mail response back to you is not secure, we will not include confidential account information in the response. You may also contact us by phone or U.S. mail.
- Encryption: A method of scrambling information while it moves from one source to another to prevent others from reading it.
- Secure Browser: An Internet browser that has SSL encryption version 3.0 or higher to conduct secure financial transactions over the Internet. To download the most secure version, visit http://browser.netscape.com/ns8/ for Netscape or http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/ for Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL): A form of encryption that protects information being transmitted over the Internet to prevent tampering while it’s in transit.
- Firewall: Firewalls are used to shield North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s network from the Internet.
- Cookies: A “cookie” is a small text file placed on your hard drive by our web page server. Cookies are commonly used on websites and do not harm your system.