There are two ways to store a private key. In many applications, digital certificates and private keys are stored on the user's hard drive of their PC, which can leave them vulnerable to attack by hackers.

The second method involves placing or creating the private key on a physical token such as a smart card.

This option provides additional protection against theft or impersonation, as the user is able to carry the key with them - meaning it is stored away from the workstation they use to access online applications.

Smart card technology combines what customers have - the card, with what they know - their PIN.

The integrity and security of a customer's private key is of fundamental importance, as this is the means by which they authenticate their identity to access online applications.

If a customer's private key, digital certificate, smart card or pass phrase is lost, stolen or compromised in any way, it should be reported to the ANZ PKI authorised officer immediately.