This week, we’re talking about protecting your personal information, something very important to us in the mortgage industry.

As many of you know, the mortgage process is full of documents that are full of peoples’ private information, and it’s absolutely critical to make sure that information stays in the right hands.

Whether you’re applying for a loan, doing online banking, or even buying a plane ticket, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your data safe.

First, be alert for impersonators. Banks and financial institutions will never ask you for personal data over an email — only over secure websites, encrypted email communications or on paper forms.

Make passwords for online accounts as complicated as you can and still remember them, and change them regularly. Also make sure not to share your passwords with other people.

If you’re big into social media, try not to overshare. Any information about your address, phone numbers, date of birth, and email addresses can be used to defraud you, so keep your network tight, and your info to a minimum.

If you use public WiFi networks a lot, check out those networks’ privacy policies, and try and stay on encrypted websites when possible.

Disable automatic password “remember me” features on computers and phones, and never leave credit cards or important information laying around in public places.

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