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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.