Security

At Sovereign we make it a priority to provide safe and secure banking solutions for our customers.

In order to best protect yourself online we recommend you follow 3 simple steps:

  1. Use Sovereign's two-factor security solution, Netcode.
  2. Follow our common sense steps when using internet banking.
  3. Install the latest computer protection.

While customers are not obliged to ensure the computer they are using to access Go Online has an up-to-date operating system and security software, Sovereign does strongly recommend that all internet users safe-guard their computers and private information by keeping their operating system and security software up-to-date.

Our Terms and Conditions of Use for Go Online.

How we protect you online

At Sovereign we use the highest industry standard for security, which we are constantly reviewing to counter any new security threats.

Steps we take to protect you when banking online include:

  • Access to your accounts is controlled by your unique access code and password.
  • Netcode provides an extra layer of protection when making payments online. If you make payments through Go Online totalling more than your daily Netcode limit we'll check that it's really you by asking for a unique code that we'll text to your mobile phone. You can choose to lower your own Netcode limit to as little as $1.
  • A 128-bit SSL encryption to keep your information secure.
  • Signing you off from your account if it's inactive for between 5-7 minutes, and suspending your account after three invalid sign on attempts.
  • Displaying the date and time of your last sign on so you know that no one else has accessed your accounts.
  • Removal of all pages you visit in our online banking websites from your browsers cache after you have signed off. This stops anyone else using the computer from being able to view your personal or account details by, for example, selecting the browser back button or searching the contents of the computer's hard-drive.
  • Each of Sovereign's secure websites has a SSL Certificate issued by Verisign to let you know that the website is genuine and secure.
  • Go Online also has an Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate. This means that if you're using Internet Explorer 7, your address bar will turn green when you visit Go Online, as an easily identifiable way to let you know that you are on the genuine Sovereign website. More information on SSL certificates is available from Verisign or visit Microsoft's website for more information on EV Certificates.
  • A dedicated security team that investigates new technologies, monitors activity and responds promptly to any security issues.
  • Regular use of reputable independent consultants to audit the security of all our systems.

Protecting yourself online

There are a few simple things you can do to help protect yourself online, not just when using banking online but when using the internet in general.

When using Go Online we recommend you do the following:

You can also help protect your computer and your identity online by doing the following:

You should log out and close your browser window after you've finished using any online banking services or if you are leaving your desk.

Select a suitable Password
The first time you sign on to Go Online you will need to select a personal Go Online Password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess. Unsuitable passwords include number and letter combinations that may be easily guessed (e.g. 3456, ABC, 1111, AAA), passwords used by you for other banking or non-banking services, or other easily accessible personal information (e.g. birthdate, family, pet or street names).

Always protect your Password
Never write your password down or give it out to anyone. Remember that we will never ask you for your online banking password. It is also important that you change your online password regularly. To do this, sign on to Go Online, select Update Details from the left hand menu and then select Change Password.

Register for Netcode
Netcode is Sovereign's two-factor authentication solution - an extra layer of security in addition to your password to make sure it's really you using Go Online internet banking, and to help protect your bank account against fraudulent people.

A Netcode is a unique number that is texted to your Netcode registered New Zealand mobile phone when making certain transactions in Go Online. So even if your access code and password were to fall into the wrong hands, you can rest assured that no money over your daily Netcode limit would be paid out of your account, without your approval.

Let us know if you suspect that your Password is known by someone or if your Netcode device is lost or stolen
It is important that you let us know as soon as you suspect or know that your Go Online Password is known by someone else or if there has been any unauthorised activity on your account. You should also notify us if your Netcode registered mobile phone has been lost or stolen. You can contact us on 0800 500174 or 64 9 487 9994.

Always log out
You should log out and close your browser window after you've finished using any online banking services or if you are leaving your desk.

Check that the website is secure
To check if a site is secure, look for https:// at the start of your browsers' address bar. You should also look for the padlock in your browser window, to show that your session is being encrypted. You can then double-click on the padlock to see the level of security being used.

Be careful with emails
Emails are a common way to spread harmful codes or to trick you into revealing your internet banking information. Don't open emails from unknown senders. If you are in doubt about the source of an email, for example if you don't recognise the sender, don't click on any links within the email and delete it. Never open unexpected attachments.

While we will email you from time to time, we will never link to the sign on page of our online banking websites.

Secure your computer

Watch this space for a special security software deal for Sovereign customers

Use a personal firewall
A personal firewall is your first line of defence between your computer and the outside world. It helps control who can access your computer and protects you from viruses and any other unwelcome visitors.

Some options include:

  • Symantec's well respected Norton brand has high quality firewalls that feature regular live updates for the latest threats (www.symantec.co.nz).
  • If you're on a budget, you can download free or low-cost firewall software from companies like Zone Labs (www.zonelabs.com).

Install anti-virus software
Viruses, which can be extremely destructive, are pieces of code that attach to your computer. A virus usually accesses your computer via email attachments or from software you install from a CD or DVD or download from the internet. By installing anti-virus software you can protect your computer against the latest viruses. You may already have anti-virus software on your computer, but for it to be effective it must be updated regularly.

Some options include:

Get anti-spyware software
Spyware is a file placed on your computer that can provide information on what you are doing online to a third party. In its worst form, spyware can be used to access personal information such as bank accounts or credit card details. Users should use up-to-date anti-spyware software to protect against programmes that fraudsters can use to collect this information.

These are easy to download and are generally available online for free. You should make sure to regularly update your software.

Regularly update your operating system
Get the latest software updates from the company that produces your operating system to protect against any security threats. Security updates are released regularly to fix holes in a computer's operating system. You should regularly check your vendor's website to see whether operating system updates are available or select to receive updates automatically.

Beware of using public or shared computers
Be wary of using other computers (e.g. in an internet cafe, library or university) to access online banking. It's impossible to know if they have up to date protection and you're likely to be overlooked by others.

Netcode - making sure it's really you

Netcode is Sovereign's two-factor authentication solution - an extra layer of security in addition to your password to make sure it's really you using Go Online Internet banking, and to help protect your bank account against fraudulent people.

A Netcode is a unique number that is texted to your mobile phone when making certain transactions in Go Online. So even if your access code and password were to fall into the wrong hands, you can rest assured that no money over your daily Netcode limit would be paid out of your account, without your approval.

Register for Netcode now by calling 0800 003 761 (64 9 487 7028(option 3)

When do I need Netcode?

Every time you make an online payment in Go Online to someone else's account, where that account number has not been authenticated, and the payment takes you over your daily Netcode limit. Payments requiring Netcode are:

  • eCheques
  • Bill Payments
  • Automatic Payments

What is an authenticated account number?

If a staff member has loaded an automatic payment or bill payment for you, then this account number is authenticated and will not need a Netcode, as we've been able to speak with you in person to check your identity.

Netcode does the same thing, it checks your identity, but you can do it yourself online. If you wish, you can choose to save your payees as Netcode authenticated when setting them up, so that you won't require Netcode for any future payments to them.

Our pre-registered list of companies (for e.g. Telecom), have already been checked by us and therefore also do not require Netcode.

What is the daily Netcode limit?

The daily Netcode limit is the maximum cumulative amount you can pay away from your account without requiring a Netcode. Every time you log on to Go Online, you will see a message informing you of the default Netcode limit for that day. However if you're more comfortable with a lower limit you can opt to reduce this to as little as $1, by clicking on the 'Netcode Limit' option in the Update Details section of Go Online.

ATM / EFTPOS

In addition to the security measures provided by Sovereign there are a number of things you should remember regarding security for Sovereign Go Cards:

  • Never share, write down or disclose your PIN to anyone.
  • Always sign your new Go card as soon as you receive it.
  • Don't choose a PIN that is easily associated with you eg. your birth date, phone number, or parts of your card number.
  • Use different PIN numbers for each different card.
  • Make sure that no one is looking over your shoulder when entering your PIN number.
  • Always put cash into your pocket or wallet before walking away from the ATM machine.
  • Always remember to take your Go card back after using it.
  • Do not use any ATM or EFTPOS terminal that looks like it has been tampered with (e.g. had components added) as it may have been altered for the purpose of skimming your card details.
  • Be wary of anyone offering assistance, especially if your card has just be retained by the ATM, as they may be attempting to obtain your card or card details.
  • When using an ATM be wary of anyone attempting to observe you entering your PIN and do not allow yourself to be distracted by anyone talking to you.
  • If your Go card is retained by an ATM call us immediately on 0800 500 174.
  • If you lose your Go card please contact Sovereign immediately on 0800 500 174.
  • Always keep your Go card in a safe place.
  • Carefully dispose of receipts from EFTPOS and ATM transactions once you have checked these against your statement. This will help prevent others acquiring information about you and your cards.

If you have any concerns or suspect a security breach of any kind, please contact us immediately on 0800 500 174. We treat all concerns of this nature seriously and will make every effort to address your concern.

© SOVEREIGN 2002

sovereign logo