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County of Santa Clara e-Payments Policy

Last modified: 3/9/2012 11:04 AM

Purpose of Policy
This policy is an addendum to the County’s existing online Information Privacy and Security Policies, and addresses the measures in place to ensure the privacy and security of personal and financial information supplied by customers in online payment transactions. The following topics are covered:

  1. Protection of Customer Information
  2. Security Measures
  3. Fees
  4. Disclaimers

1. Protection of Customer Information

Sensitive information passed in online transactions, such as social security numbers, banking information, and personal data, is confidential. To enhance the security of your private information, we may use encryption to protect information that you send or view via Web pages. SCCgov utilizes a secure transmission protocol (Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)) to provide protection of the Web page communications across the Internet between our portal and your computer. SSL is a commonly used protocol for managing the security of an interactive Web session on the Internet. If the Web page has an address that begins with <https://> rather than <http://>, the page is protected by SSL.
Our employees are required to follow procedures with respect to maintaining the confidentiality of our residents’ personal information. Additionally, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect the information. This includes performing ongoing evaluations of our systems containing customer information and making changes when appropriate.
Please refer to our Information Privacy Policy for further details about the collection of information from visitors to our portal.

2. Security Measures

Our security measures
We have an integrated system of industry best practices and technologically advanced safeguards that includes:

  • SSL and encryption
  • Firewall
  • Secure server
  • Monitoring
  • Connections to third parties

SSL and encryption. Encryption works by scrambling words and numbers before they travel across the Internet, so they can't be read or altered by anyone.

There are several levels of encryption: the higher the number, the more secure the communication. Browsers that support 128-bit encryption offer the best protection.

Firewall. A firewall is a combination of hardware and software deployed to control the information that can pass from the Internet into our internal systems and servers. Firewalls enforce a set of rules intended to bar intruders and viruses from gaining entry.

Secure server. Transactions involving sensitive information occur on a secure server. You can look for the “lock” symbol at the bottom of your browser window to verify that you are on a secure server.

Connections to third parties. Information transmitted to and from agencies and third party vendors will be transmitted through a secure virtual private network or dedicated connection.

Monitoring. We continually monitor our systems for evidence of attempted break-ins.

Security threats are ever changing
We use intensive testing procedures and other safeguards to verify that customer information is protected. But no security system is completely foolproof. Please be sure you're comfortable with our security measures before accessing your account online.

3. Fees
Online payment services may include fees that are assessed only to the users of the services. Convenience fees may vary based on the nature and type of transaction. You can find out whether the transaction you wish to make using this site will require a fee by visiting the web page for the department collecting the payment.

4. Disclaimers

Online payments will be accepted 24 hours a day, with the exception of
system unavailability (“down time”) due to updates, upgrades or technical difficulties experienced by the County or its payments service provider(s). However, online payments that are initiated after 12:00 midnight of the due date will incur penalties and/or interest as specified by the department collecting the payment.

Departmental business rules, including rules regarding the timeliness of payment, apply to all online payments. You can find out what these rules are, including what penalties or/interest apply to late payments, by visiting the web page for the department collecting the payment.

All credit card transactions are subject to approval. Therefore, if a charge transaction is declined, the balance will be considered unpaid, and may incur penalties and/or interest.