How to protect your identity during the homebuying process
Six ways to secure your identity when buying a home
Protect yourself from anyone that would try to steal your identity while you're buying a home.
Buying a home is challenging on its own. Throw in the problem of identity theft, and you’ll have more than a handful of obstacles to deal with. Thus, to ease the burden off your shoulders, this post discusses six steps you can take to protect your identity when buying a home.
Let’s consider them.
1. Work with trusted professionals
On the way to fulfilling your American dream, you need to ask around to ensure you pick reputable, knowledgeable professionals to work with. Check with your family, friends, and colleagues to see if they’d endorse any mortgage broker or loan officer they’ve previously worked with.
Their recommendation will boost your chances of working with a trustworthy professional. If the professional has any dent in their reputation, you might need to think twice before using their services.
2. Inquire about their security practices and professional standards
Finding the professionals you want to work with also involves inquiring into their methods. Since you’re concerned about protecting your identity during the homebuying process, you must ensure your mortgage broker and loan officer have their security game on lock.
Here are some questions you should ask:
- Are the emails you send confidential information to encrypted?
- What are their privacy and security policies?
- Are their portals for uploading documents secure?
- How long do they retain the confidential information you send?
These questions will give you insight into whether they are worth working with from a security perspective.
3. Safeguard your devices
While you’re vetting the security standards of the professionals you’re engaging, don’t forget that you have to be on guard yourself. Therefore, you must ensure you take the necessary steps to eliminate any form of vulnerability with your personal devices.
Here are some steps you can take to guarantee security on the side of your devices:
- Keep them with you at all times to avoid unauthorized access
- Implement a password on all of your devices
- Install, update, and always run anti-virus and anti-malware software on your devices
4. Destroy all documents after use
If it’s necessary to have printed copies of documents containing your details or transactions, be sure to destroy them afterward so no one can get ahold of your information. You can either burn the documents or shred them into pieces.
5. Implement identity theft prevention and credit monitoring services
It goes without saying that identity and credit are closely related. You can hardly concern yourself with one without the other. So, in the bid to protect your identity while purchasing a home, you must implement both identity theft protection services and credit protection methods.
Credit monitoring services function as a backup in case anything slips through the cracks. They’re super effective when it comes to protecting your credit because they nip potential fraudulent attacks in the bud.
6. Stay alert and never neglect your guts
As you’re buying your home, be sure to investigate if anything seems off. Vet the professionals to ensure they’re upholding their end of the bargain in terms of security. If, for any reason, they seem non-compliant, engage another professional.
You should keep your eyes open for any possible loopholes that criminals might take advantage of. Avoid opening or replying to suspicious emails, and ask questions if anything seems confusing.
Homebuying is super important, but it’s more important to protect your identity at all times. Subscribe to any of our legal packages for top-notch identity protection and credit monitoring services.
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