Cyber Security And Your Home: 5 Tips to Keep You & Your Home Safe
Posted by Eric Skates on
We live in a time of convenience, we want what we want, when we want it (stay with me). The need for convenience and immediate satisfaction enetered the banking industry with the installation of the first ATM.
Convenience in the mortgage industry looks a little different, but people still want to get the lowest rate and move into the home of their dreams ASAP. While compliance rules, government regulations and a series of newly implemented checks and balances are in place to prevent the bubble from bursting (again). You can move into a home fairly quickly, if you start the process on your smart phone, the current average is 20-60 days to close, provided there are no hiccups.
Many of us know that with convenience comes the possibility of hackers.
Your mortgage and closing costs could be at risk, so let’s look at 5 things you can do to protect your identity and your home.
1.Pull credit reports several times a year to check for identity theft. If you see that someone has attempted to refinance your home or obtain an equity loan in your name, call your bank, mortgage company and the police. You may also want to invest in identity protection through your credit card company or Identity theft companies, like Life Lock or Credit Karma.
2. Don’t send financial information to email addresses you do not recognize. Check the email address before you wire any information to your broker, loan officer or closing agent. Copy and paste the addresses from a previous email, or use an email chain that everyone has already responded to. Hackers can duplicate email addresses or alter them by a letter/number which can send your information to the wrong place.
3. Pull your public records. Some information is public record, which means you can see it too. Pulling your tax records and checking to confirm what is on file for your home is normally free through your cities Tax Commissioners office. You can sometimes see who else has pulled the records. Print a copy every 60-90 days to keep for your records.
4.Don’t trust anyone. This one may sound a little harsh and slightly paranoid, but hackers can be relentless. With the rise of social media, your next DM or messenger alert could be from someone trying to gain access to your computer and in turn steal your mortgage information. Take five minutes to set your security measures on your social profiles. Don’t allow messages from people you don’t know to automatically open. Only share certain information with friends and family. Select what goes on your feed.
5.Don’t let your guard down. Check, check and re-check. Don’t be diligent after the hacking. Use more than an ounce of prevention. You’re online at least once a day why not look at your credit report once a week? Set a reminder in your phone to review your finances once a month. Check with your insurance company to see if they offer a discount for adding Identity theft protection to you your policy.
Sometimes lenders have to share your personal information with other companies, ask your lender how they communicate with borrowers and what their cyber security measures are...
An ounce of prevention…