Mortgage Brokers handle sensitive, private information on a daily basis. From financial statements to personal identification documents, there is a wealth of information that must be kept secure. In a time when data breaches are becoming common place, it is even more crucial to be careful with sensitive client information and documents. In addition to requirements for mortgage brokers to keep client data secure, it can also help build up trust and loyalty in clients to know that mortgage brokers take the security of their data seriously.
Here are some best practices to help keep clients’ data safe:
1) Encrypt files with sensitive data.
Encryption is an effective way to prevent data from being received by unwanted parties. It is the process of converting data into a code that only authorized users and programs can retrieve. Encrypting files and information can ensure that the data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and can’t be used for alternative purposes.
2) Use practices that keep passwords secure.
Create strong, unique passwords for every account, especially those that store client data. Avoid any easily guessable passwords (like “password” or birthdays) and consider using a secured password manager that can create and store strong passwords. Do not store password information in easily accessible places, write them down in visible areas or keep them where they can be found. When available, enable two-factor authentication as this will help add an extra layer of protection as well.
3) Limit access to sensitive data.
Access to client files should be restricted to only those who require it to complete their tasks. Limiting access reduces the risk of data breaches caused by unauthorized users or electronics that might be compromised. Additionally, create policies that require the proper disposal of client data, including shredding documents and securely deleting digital files.
4) Use proper security on digital devices.
Computers, phones, tablets and more can be susceptible to viruses and malware. Make sure to keep all devices up to date on antivirus and antimalware software. In addition, use secure communication channels to exchange any sensitive data, such as email encryption or secure file transfer services.
5) Educate clients on best practices for security.
Not everyone understands the risks associated with sharing sensitive information. Educate clients on protecting their personal information with strong passwords, and using caution when opening attachments or sharing sensitive details online.
Keeping client data secure is a crucial step in the mortgage broker process. Clients trust their brokers with all their information and betraying this trust can have a negative and long-term effect on not only the broker’s business, but the industry as well. Stay up to date on the latest security trends and continuously review processes and procedures to make sure they comply with best practices at the time.