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PA Child Support Program

Security

Security

Last modified on: November 1st, 2004

We have taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of this web site including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day practices of operating this web site as per the technical standards enforced by the Department of Information Technology.

Authentication

We use different pieces of information to properly identify and authenticate you before allowing you secure access to your information. The identifying pieces of information are Social Security Number and Case Identification number for those receiving or paying child support, and Employer Identification Number and Contact Telephone Number for employers withholding income for child support. This information is required to be provided on the online registration form.

Another piece of information is your User Name, a code that you can choose, and a valid e-mail address. Once you have a unique User Name, we will randomly generate the final piece of information, your access code or password. We will e-mail the password information to the e-mail address on record. You need to save your User Name and Password for security reasons.

The password e-mailed to you will be a temporary one that will need to be changed the first time you login to the site.

For security reasons, you will not be allowed to change your password and e-mail during the same day. Further, you will receive an e-mail notification of any changes made to your password.

Data over the Internet

Our site uses the highest levels of Internet security. We require the use of a secure browser and use its features such as data encryption, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, User Names and Passwords, and other tools. The system encrypts the login information and personal information that flows back and forth between you and us.

Encryption is the process of scrambling the information so that it can only be reassembled by the intended recipient- someone recording the communication will not be able to decipher the information. We use 128 bits for this encryption- the standard for our industry and the financial industry- making it virtually impossible for anyone else to read it. You can tell when you are on a secure page by looking at the URL (location or address field in the browser). If it begins with "https://" rather than "http://" the page is secure.

Logout and our Timeout Feature

We make use of a secure login and advise you to log out of our site as soon as you are finished with your access.

We also use a timeout feature to protect you further. After an extended period at our site (set currently at 20 minutes), we will log you out automatically.

Identify Theft Protection

A taxpayer who believes they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should contact the IRS immediately so the agency can take action to secure their tax account. The taxpayer should contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490. The taxpayer will be asked to complete the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039, and follow the instructions on the back of the form based on their situation.

Data protection

The personal information our site collects is stored in secure operating environments that are not available to the public or other members. We employ mechanisms to protect data within our walls. One such mechanism is a firewall that protects our computer systems and your information. Firewalls are selective barriers that block access and allow only authorized traffic through.

We also use system and application logs to track all access. We review these logs periodically and investigate any anomalies or discrepancies.

Our Security recommendations for you
To maintain a high level of security, we recommend that you follow the following practices:
  • Protect and never share your User Name and/or Password. Our administrator will never ask you for your Password. Do not be duped by malicious e-mails asking for your Password. This is a well-known trick designed to trick you into sharing your Password.
  • Always complete an online session and log out when done. Be sure to do so before leaving your computer. It is quick and easy and may save your account from unwanted trespassers.
  • Make sure that you are using an up-to-date version of Internet software (such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer). Versions that are more recent often have enhanced security protection.
  • When you log in, check the "last logged in" date and time information. If you see a login other than one you remember, change your Password immediately and contact us.
  • If using a browser such as Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater, turn off the AutoComplete feature. This feature will remember User Names and Passwords, as well as other information you type into web pages that contain forms. When the browser encounters this form again, it will prefill the form with your answers from last time. This feature could let other users of your computer log in as you.
  • If using Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater, set your temporary browser file setting to refresh your web pages once every browser session. Change this setting prior to logging in, then close and restart your browser.
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