If you’ve done business with Landmark Title Assurance Agency before, you may have noticed the following message:
“We encrypt all emails that contain personal information. Encrypted emails from me or my team will come from McAfee. You may access the encrypted email online using your personal login credentials. When you receive the first email, please take a moment to set up your account. You will only need to create a password once and the same can be used to open any encrypted email from me or my team.”
There is a reason why this note is featured at the beginning of an escrow email. Before jumping into the “why,” we think it’s important to mention who recommended this safety practice in the first place. In 2014, the American Land Title Association (ALTA) released a document highlighting its best practices for protecting consumer data. Unfortunately, the exchange of private customer information over the years has led to increases in identity theft and fraud. Criminals are becoming more creative, knowledgeable, and bold at committing various crimes, causing even the smartest, most tech-savvy individuals to fall victim to their schemes. Luckily, title companies like Landmark Title Assurance Agency have caught on to these calamitous incidents and are doing whatever they can to protect their customers and clients from identity theft and wire fraud. Below are few frequently asked questions about the importance of encryption and how this technology works.
Criminals are becoming more creative, knowledgeable, and bold at committing various crimes, causing even the smartest, most tech-savvy individuals to fall victim to their schemes. Luckily, title companies like Landmark Title Assurance Agency have caught on to these calamitous incidents and are doing whatever they can to protect their customers and clients from identity theft and wire fraud. Below are few frequently asked questions about the importance of encryption and how this technology works.
1. Why Is Email Encryption Necessary?
Today’s technology has allowed the general public to exchange personal information via email, website portals, and other internet-based platforms. When you buy or sell a home, you may be asked to send your social security number, bank account numbers, and credit and loan account numbers to your lender, realtor, and title agent. More often than not, this information is sent using a computer and not in the mail or in person. As a result, it becomes vulnerable to possible hackers and fraudsters attempting to steal your personal information. Simply stated, email encryption is necessary to protect your information from identity theft and wire fraud.
2. How Does Email Encryption Work?
According to Lieberman Technologies, “…encrypting emails involves a pair of mathematically-related cryptographic keys, one of which is public and the other private.” Without getting too technical, these two keys must exist in harmony to ensure the encryption process is successful. The technology solutions company goes on to say that private, encrypted emails are written using the public key before they are sent to the end user. Then, the private key is used by the recipient to decrypt the message. Using both keys proves the sender is who they say they are, and vice versa.
3. What Should I Do If I Receive a Suspicious Email?
If you receive a suspicious email, it’s important to notify your lender, realtor, and title agent right away. A suspicious email may include misinformation; a change of instructions for your wire transfer; the misspelling of a name, title, or email address, and incorrect personal information for your transaction. The bottom line: be thorough when reviewing emails from your lender, realtor, or title agent because small, subtle changes can go completely unnoticed. If you suspect your email has been hacked or used inappropriately, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately!
While these few extras steps may be bothersome for certain individuals, it beats the alternative: identity theft and wire fraud. If you have any questions about the process, or you wish to relay your information over the phone, please call 602-748-2800. We would be happy to address the matter at hand and as we make sure your escrow and insurance needs are processed properly!