Protecting Your Information
Most of us live very blindly and the trust we put in others, is beyond measure. My grandfather had a saying, “If you cannot see who you are dealing with, who are you going to see if you have a problem with the item you’re purchasing or the service you are be receiving.”
I hear it all the time from the millennial’s “Don’t worry the site is safe”. However, if we look back three have been many occasions when the IRS and other government agencies got hacked and millions of people’s identity and private information was stolen or compromised. Recently one of the major credit bureaus got hacked.
We have seen many people suffer damages from social media and email hacking. Phishing email accounts is on the rise. So, what are you doing to protect your information? Even scarier, how are others protecting your information?
We have heard the following many times, ‘change your passwords regularly’. Include upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different sites or types of sites. For instance, you may use a series of passwords for your utility passwords (telephone, electric, and water bill accounts). You may have a different series of passwords for your bank accounts and another one for work accounts. I think you get my drift.
From here, inside your computer, you may password protect different types of files holding your personal and private information. But what happens when you send that information over the internet. How are you protecting that? Do you know who is receiving it or how well they will be protecting your vital information?
When working with anyone, whether it’s a Realtor, Loan Originator, Mortgage Broker, Bank, or Lender, you need to consider how will you be sending your information to them when requested. FAX, Email or USPS? Good secure companies use protected systems whether server or cloud based systems all your information should be encrypted and/or password protected through a secure link.
You should never send your information such as bank statements, tax returns, social security number and dates of birth through a general email system. If you are requested to send your information make sure it will be protected. Good systems will include encryption, passwords and an expiration of time that your information can be accessed.
When dealing with another person or entity, make sure you ask questions about them and who they are. Ask how they protect your information sending them your personal information to a general email account could prove to be disastrous.
You may find a lower rate with some companies but have you ever wondered where they are skimping on cost in order to provided that discounted rate. Security is expensive to companies but, it can be even more costly to you later on down the road if that discount brokerage or Realtor loses your information.
Think twice with who you are dealing with. Ask questions, take the time to research the other people you’re dealing with. Get your facts and we will see you at a happy closing table.