Why encrypted e-mail? First and foremost it is to protect the consumer. Title companies, in the course of preparing a transaction to close, will have in the “file” many facts about individuals that are deemed non-public personal information (NPPI). This can include names, social security numbers, date of birth, driver’s license number, credit card numbers, sales price, LLC documents and much more. Think about all the information that is asked of consumers during a typical loan application and or real estate closing!
Continental Title is practicing “Alta Best Practices” to protect this sensitive information. Just some of the steps that are taken are:
- Files are secured in locked cabinets and/or secure servers.
- Files are not left out on desks this is “the clean desk” policy
- Background checks are required of employees handling NPPI and escrow funds
- Encrypted e-mails are used when sending any NPPI to all parties involved in the transaction
- Closing Documents are sent encrypted and password sensitive instead of providing paper copies that can be lost or stolen once you leave the office.
Wire Fraud is a real and present danger. Many have fallen victim to a scam that starts with the identity theft of an individual that deals in a real estate transaction, i.e. an investor, realtor, buyer or seller. A cyber thief will hack into their computer and gain access to information regarding a real estate transaction. This is the easiest way since they have a harder time trying to penetrate all of the title company’s security walls. Very simply put they contact the title company via a fake yet similar e-mail account to the stolen individuals emails account and request a change to the account the funds are being wired to. Below are the steps that Continental Title takes to protect their clients.
- Any change in wiring instructions is thoroughly investigated and documented. If Continental Title is contacted via email to change wiring instructions they will call the individual and confirm they sent the change and confirm the account number provided. Changes are a big red flag.
- E-mails are encrypted to protect NPPI and is required by the FTC and the Gramm Bliley Act
- Continental Title has a 3 step wire verification internally and with our bank to confirm Continental Title was the actual sender of the wire.
Continental Title has put in place many security measures to protect our buyers, sellers, agents and lenders. Above is just a brief over view of some of the requirements.
Article provided by Continental Title. At Continental Title Company, we are committed to providing exceptional customer service. We believe in building long-term relationships, one customer at a time. We focus on establishing confidence and security with each and every transaction. With offices through out metro Kansas City, you can find them online at http://ctitle.com/