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home > help > realizes how important security is to you, so we've taken a number of steps that help enhance the safety and confidentiality of transmissions of private information sent from over the Internet.

Is my confidential information secure?

Whenever asks you to send confidential information over the Internet, including personal account data, we require that a "secure session" using SSL first be established.

What is a "secure session" and how does it help keep my information safe?

During a secure SSL session, data passed back and forth between your computer and's systems is secured by using public key cryptography. Your computer exchanges key information with computers to create a private conversation that only your computer and systems can understand.

What specifically is SSL?

Any time you access or supply account information in one of our secure online areas, that information is encrypted by a technology called Secure Sockets Layer (often abbreviated as SSL). SSL technology encodes information as it is being sent over the Internet between your computer and systems, helping to ensure that the information remains confidential. The use of SSL requires two components: an SSL-compatible browser and a web server to perform the "key-exchange" that establishes an SSL connection to's web server systems.

What type of browser do I need?

To benefit from SSL technology, you will need a browser with SSL capabilities. Examples of SSL browsers include Netscape® 2.0, Microsoft® Internet Explorer 2.0, and the Web browser for America Online version 3.0 for Windows. (Note that some older versions of browsers will not support SSL sessions). If you don't already have a browser with SSL capabilities, you can download an SSL browser from either of the links below.

         Microsoft® Internet Explorer (Downloads)

         Netscape® Navigator (Downloads)

What type of connection do I need?

Nearly all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) automatically enable the SSL session described above, as do most online services such as America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy. If you use your company's internal connection to access the Internet and you find you can not access secured pages with an SSL browser described above, your company may be blocking access via a "firewall". Please speak to your firm's Internet access systems administrator for further details on your network's Internet access.

When do I enter into a "secure SSL session"?

Secure SSL sessions are established where your personal information is being transmitted, including:

  • Elite Membership Registration
  • Elite Membership Login
  • APG Order Entry
  • Account Management
  • Password Management
  • Elite Membership Registration Survey

Why do I need a user name and password?

Many areas require the use of an ID and password as an additional security measure that helps protect your confidential information. This lets us verify exactly who you are, thereby allowing you access to your account information, and helping prevent unauthorized access.

What should I do when I have finished accessing confidential data?

When you have finished using a secure area, make sure you always click on the red "logout" link which appears on the right side of every secure page. No further secure transactions can be conducted without re-entering your user name and password.

Why can I still see some of my account information even after I have pressed the "Exit Secure Area" link?

Browser software often "caches" pages as you look at them, meaning that some pages are saved in your computer's temporary memory. Therefore, you may find that clicking on your back button shows you a saved version of a previously viewed page. Please keep in mind that caching in no way affects the security of your confidential user name or password. If you use your computer in a public place, please read "What should I do if I am using a 'public' computer?" below.

What should I do if I am using a "public"computer?

If you use a computer that others also work and you are uncomfortable that they may view "cached" pages after you have left the station, then please quit/exit your browser software before leaving. This will decrease the possibility of anyone viewing confidential information. No other users will be able to access your account information online without your user name and password.

Why does the system say my session has expired and ask me to re-enter my user name and password?

As an additional security feature, the site utilizes an inactivity timer. If you have not clicked on a new page within a period of 30 minutes, your current session will be ended. When you request a new page after this time-out has expired, you will be asked to login again.

This feature allows the site to automatically logout users and thus prevent potential unauthorized users from accessing the site after a valid user has been using the site.

Questions or Comments

If you did not find the answer to your question or you have a comment please send an email to customer support or call customer support at 1-800-372-0122.

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