First Tennessee considers the security of your financial information a top priority. We employ extensive security measures to ensure a safe and reliable online experience for all of our customers.
The first level of security is password protection. To gain access to an account or account information, a user must verify his or her identity with a password.
The second level of security is firewall protection. All First Tennessee systems are protected with firewalls that limit access to only those customers providing the proper passwords.
The third level of security is 128-bit key SSL encryption. Before data is exchanged between the customer and the bank, it is encoded or scrambled with 128-bit key SSL encryption.
We also provide you with e-mail alerts, which let you know whenever your log-in information has been changed. That means within 30 minutes of a change to your login information, we will send you an email to let you know. In the event that you did not initiate that change, we ask that you contact us immediately so we can take the necessary steps to block unauthorized users from your account.
Additionally, we request that customers enter at least one mobile phone number or email address (two are suggested) upon setting up a Banking Online account. These email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers can be used to send verification emails or texts anytime you initiate a change to your contact information or select to add a custom Payee in Bill Pay Online.
You should also note that the federal government provides significant protection. Federal laws and regulations protect you from fraudulent credit and debit card usage as well as from unauthorized online banking activity.
Even with all the security precautions we have in place, we need your help in making your accounts and account information as secure as possible. To that end, First Tennessee strongly recommends customers practice the following security measures:
- Keep IDs and passwords confidential
- Use passwords that include letters and numbers that are not easily discernable (do not use birthdays, child's name, etc.)
- Change your passwords frequently
- Use different passwords for each online service
Firewalls act much like the manager of a safe deposit box vault. When you visit the bank to access your safe deposit box, you aren't allowed to walk into the vault, search for your own box, conduct your business, and leave without speaking to anyone. Instead, you must do this with the safe deposit manager. The manager asks to see identification, confirms who you are with a signature card, and then escorts you to your safe deposit box. Together, you enter the vault and use separate keys to access your safe deposit box. You are then escorted to a small room where you can transact your business in private. When you are done, you simply reverse the process and a notation is made of when your safe deposit box was accessed.
The same methodology is programmed into software firewalls. Every request for information is authenticated and provided only to the authorized individual. In addition, all activity passing through the firewall is documented.
128 Bit Key SSL Encryption
All data exchanged over the Internet is divided into small units and sent in envelope type packets. Upon arriving at the computer that requested the information, the packets are reassembled into the original message.
For internet transactions and communications, you must employ a method of securing these packets as they travel across the Internet. Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, is a leading method for encrypting and decrypting packets of data as they are exchanged using a code known only to the data's sender and recipient. SSL locks the data so that regardless of the path the data takes as it passes across the internet, it only can be opened by the end user with the proper key or combination to the lock on the data.
SSL technology is widely accepted today because the combination needed to unlock SSL encrypted data is 128 characters long. Compare this to a briefcase that uses a lock with three combination wheels containing the numbers zero through nine. It would take several hours to try each combination from 000 through 999 to break the code. Imagine the time it would take to pick the lock of a briefcase that had 128 wheels and, in addition to the numbers one through nine, it also had letters A through Z.
The bottom line is that even if someone could sift your packets of data out of the trillions passing through the Internet every minute, it would take so long for someone to unlock each of the SSL-protected packets that the data would be out of date and useless by the time it was reassembled.