Many people are aware about the widespread issues happening in the online world, such as hacking – an activity wherein someone tries to gain unauthorized system access to steal personal and financial information. If you’re someone who shops online, you’re probably always getting worried every time you purchase an item for your new home at an online shop. What if your online account gets hacked and your personal information leaks out? It’s definitely alarming and devastating. But have you ever wondered how easily your private data can be taken from your real estate company or mortgage broker during or after the home-buying process?
When it comes to buying a property, we know how important it is to work with mortgage brokers. They can help you save time and money, locate your dream home, and make the entire process a lot easier. However, many homebuyers fail to ask important questions, particularly about security when hiring one. If you’re planning to buy a home soon, here are some tips for you:
- Ask your real estate company or brokers if they have security software installed on their computers and if they use secured transfer portals for file sharing.
- If they only use common email for their real estate transaction, ask them if they use email-encryption. If not or they aren’t familiar about it, that means the broker doesn’t care about your sensitive data. Look for other professionals who can provide you the protection you need.
- Make separate passwords for each online account your use and ensure that your passwords are hard to guess by others.
- Ask your real estate agents or brokers if their computer and other electronic devices that they use for their transactions are password protected.
- Ask them how they are going to handle and secure your files after downloading them from the portal or encrypted email.
- Also ask them who will have access to the personal data that you share and how will they dispose them when the home-buying process is done.
- Never send any personal information or access your financial accounts on an unsecured or public wireless network.
- Never share personal information on social networking sites and other public websites.
- Don’t immediately share any information to a mortgage broker or real estate company you find online. Research about them first. If you can, meet with them personally to get to know them better.
- If you live in a state that requires mortgage brokers to be licensed, make sure that the one you’ll be working with is licensed and certified.
A real estate company or a broker can help you save significant amount of time and money, but you should still do your part as a homebuyer. Do your own research and don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions, particularly about security to ensure that you’ll not only get the home of your dreams but also to protect yourself and finances.