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With the growth of cybercrime and hacking, protecting sensitive information, such as social security numbers, bank account information, or personal data, is more critical than ever before. Investing in cyber security measures and risk mitigation tools goes a long way to building trust with your clients. Mortgage and real estate industry professionals offered some tips on how to guard yourself and your customers from malicious digital activity.
Zac Houghton, CEO at Loftera.
Use a Secure Online Portal Instead of Email
Mortgage companies must comply with many consumer and financial data privacy regulations because of the sheer amount of sensitive information they share throughout the loan process.
Promote the use of a secure online portal instead of email, which is susceptible to hacking. Transparency can be promoted by lenders posting privacy and security policies online for customers to easily access.
It’s common for hackers to send emails that include dangerous links disguised as normal messages and many fake email messages use names and email addresses that resemble those of actual contacts. A phishing scam targets loan officers via email. Lenders should implement email security measures to protect their loan officers.
Client confidentiality should be protected through policies, procedures, and enforcement mechanisms at any brokerage or appraisal company. By doing this, the brokerage or appraisal company will ensure the information is not shared with individuals that shouldn’t have access to it.
Brokers dealing with transaction brokerages must disclose any material facts relevant to whether a buyer can purchase the property or a tenant can lease it.
To take pictures or videos of the belongings of tenants, or to disclose them to third parties, you must have the tenants’ permission when selling, leasing, or appraising the property.
David Adler, Founder, and CEO, The Travel Secret.
In-Person Delivery or Secure Email Link
There are programs and links mortgage lenders frequently use to protect any personal information of their clients. With the help of a secure email link, you can easily send any personal documents to your lender in the most secure manner. However, delivering any document in person is the safest. By doing so, you know your information is secure.
Gary Beckham, Marketing Specialist and Financial Consultant at MetalicCards.
Use a Secure Web Gateway
Customer data should be handled with caution. Encourage clients to provide personal information using a secure web gateway rather than email, which might be hacked. To promote transparency, lenders can make their privacy and security policies available on the internet, where customers can quickly view them.
Finally, lenders should educate customers about the actions they are doing to safeguard their personal information. This kind of transparency builds trust and convinces clients that your organization is working hard to combat security concerns.
Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement.
Use Paper Records
This is one area where good, old-fashioned paper records can be a great idea. Once you’ve gone through the mortgage process with a client, you won’t have use for most of the appraisal, application, credit check, and other documentation you developed along the way. It can be a good idea to destroy most of this information once the mortgage is closed or if you want to keep records, keep them on paper so that they are less vulnerable to data breaches.