As more and more of the mortgage process is conducted online, the threats of security breaches and data theft grow. And with such personal information as your banking details, and Social Security Number on the line, proceeding with caution is now more important than ever.
Are you preparing to apply for a mortgage loan? Want to make sure your personal data is safe along the way? Take care to follow these five steps:
1. Use only a trusted, experienced lender.
Though newer, tech-driven lenders can be tempting to use, the truth is their methods haven’t been as tested or vetted. If you really want to keep your data safe, use only a highly experienced lender with years or even decades of lending under their belt. You should also check online reviews and be sure they’re well-rated with the Better Business Bureau. Take note of any complaints mentioned in their BBB profile, too.
2. Never enter your information on any site without an “HTTPS” address.
The difference between an “HTTPS” and “HTTP” address is that one is protected by a Secure Socket Layer and one is not. By entering your personal information on a site without that all-important “S,” you open it up to potential hacking and theft. Always double-check the URL on any site you enter personal data into — even if it’s just your name and email address.
3. Only use lender-provided portals and websites when sharing documents.
If you’re sharing documentation or financial paperwork with your lender, never do so over email. Only use portals and tools directly provided by your lender, and don’t share your login details for that portal with anyone. You should also avoid saving the login details to an outside server (like Google Passwords, for example) to reduce the chances of data theft even more.
4. Double-check all email correspondence.
According to the FBI, business email compromise is the single-biggest online scam at work on the web. It occurs when a scammer or fraudster either hacks an email account (maybe your Realtor’s, title agent’s, or even yours) or they simply mimic an address within the transaction (it could be just one letter off and even have the same signature). Always do your due diligence when corresponding with other parties in your transaction. Double-check that the sender’s address is accurate, and be leery of anything that looks even slightly off.
5. Don’t wire money without verifying the details.
Finally, be careful when wiring money for your down payment and closing costs. Always verify the wiring information over the phone with your title agent or Realtor, and be wary of any sudden changes in plans. Wire fraud is rising in the mortgage and real estate industries, and you should always double-check any changes before sending any money.
Want to make sure your data is in good hands? Use a trusted lender like Premier Nationwide Lending. Get in touch to learn more about our security processes or to get preapproved for your loan today.
Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 6201 West Plano Parkway, Suite 100, Plano, TX 75093 | NTFN NMLS 75333.