Obtaining a mortgage and buying a home requires lots of documentation, from paycheck stubs to tax returns and credit card statements.
While the process can be time-consuming, technology has made it easier, and many real estate communications today occur electronically – when you send your mortgage broker required documents, for instance. But with convenience also comes the possibility that your information and data may be at risk for identity thieves.
If the thought of sending so much personal information electronically makes you uncomfortable, rest assured that there are steps you can take along the way to help better protect your data – and you can begin taking those steps prior to looking for a new home.
One way to better safeguard your information, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, is “Keep a Clean Machine.” That means taking steps to secure your home wireless router, changing its pre-set password, and reviewing security options, along with setting up a firewall.
In addition, you may want to consider: updating your security and anti-virus software; backing up your digital files; using the strongest login authentication tools available; and of course, creating strong passwords for your devices and accounts.
As part of National Internet Safety Month, we’ll be focusing this week on Internet safety and security when buying a home – what to do before you start shopping, how to browse homes online safely, discussing online security with your realtor, lender, and home inspector, and applying for mortgages online. We hope you’ll be able to learn about better protecting your personal information while landing your dream home.