Applying for a mortgage has never been easier. With the help of the internet, homeowners now have the option to submit an online mortgage application from their home. However, as we’ve transitioned into remote working due to the pandemic, cyber attacks are at the highest rates we’ve ever seen. This raises the question: how do we ensure our personal data is being protected when it comes to submitting a mortgage application online? Let’s dive in.
What can I do to keep my personal data safe when applying for a mortgage online?
Find a reputable lender.
Having a lender that is trustworthy and well-known is the best way to ensure your information stays safe. Before choosing a lender, make sure you research their reviews on social media and search engines. If you have questions or concerns about a potential lender, don’t hesitate to contact them for clarification. Also consider reaching out to friends and family members to see who they recommend. It’s also important to make sure the lender is licensed. Some people try to set up fake mortgage websites in an attempt to steal your information, and confirming a lender’s credentials will ensure you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation.
Learn about a lender’s security policies.
While you can take steps to ensure your personal information stays safe, the lender should do their part as well. Before you choose a lender, ask to review their privacy and security policies, and don’t hesitate to ask them questions. Signs of efficient and effective policies include secure portals for uploading documents, encrypted software when sending emails, etc. Another quick tip is to look for a VeriSign logo on a lender’s website, or a padlock on the address bar. This means the website is secure. Rule of thumb; if you have doubts of a website being secure, don’t submit an application. Applications should only be submitted over secure/private networks, as public networks are a bigger risk for theft.
Be cautious in your communication.
Email is a form of communication you should always be weary of. Phishing emails are running more rampant than ever, and hackers are clever and undermining in their efforts.
These fake emails often ask people to update their personal information, only to redirect them to a fake website. Always double check the sender’s email address before responding, and look for grammatical errors and other nuances. Here are a few other things to look for in a phishing email.
And there you have it! Now that you know how to keep your information safe, we hope you feel a bit more empowered to apply for a mortgage online.
If you’re in need of assistance when it comes to your mortgage, Ken Venick is here to help. Ken has over 30 years of experience in the real estate business, and can put you or your client in the right position to optimize your finances. Contact us today!