This past holiday season, I watched ALL of “A Christmas Story”. I had seen bits and pieces of the story and had heard more bits and pieces growing up, but I never thought it had a place at work. At least not until I saw it and CFPB came around.
You know that “de-coder ring” Ralphie mailed away for, and was so happy when he got it so he could decode the message? And the message was (skip to the next sentence if you don’t want to know the secret), “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine”. Poor Ralphie!
CFPB saw the movie too. They know that we, as title and real estate people, no longer have to send papers by mail and wait for weeks to receive the “de-coder ring”, or real estate contract or title commitment, or closing instructions. They can now be sent electronically and received immediately. (The deciphering them is another opening for a blog).
Too much information can be obtained about a buyer, seller, realtor, etc. by sending emails back and forth, as they may retrieved by others and used for illegal purposes. As you know, hacking has become a real problem, and CFPB wants to stop it!
Therefore, we in the real estate industry must now encrypt our messages and correspondence. The reason for this security is bona fide. After all, if a foreign nation can stop the release of a movie, who knows what could happen to your loan or closing documents.
Encryption is needed for Authentication of the origin of the message. For integrity of the contents of a message not being changed, and non-repudiation that the sender of the message inability to deny sending it.
All messages regarding a real estate transaction must be encrypted. This may include usernames and passwords needed to open a message.
Messages including social security numbers, driver license numbers, credit card numbers, tax id numbers are all targets of attacks Loan documents and closing packages are targets.
There already are companies to advise you and programs to secure you. Your IT departments need to be involved in this security. Your loan closing company needs to be engaged as well as lenders, and like it or not your realtors and builders will be affected by this too. Don’t wait until July to worry about this. Address it now!
There is not a de-coder ring to help you do your everyday business as CFPB is directing. But if you really want one, I bet I can come up with something. ilfxsg (thanks)