The closing process is going digital, with more aspects of the transaction moving online every year. However, with fraud increasing throughout the real estate industry, it’s important for title & escrow companies to protect themselves and their clients from any potential harm.
So what can title & escrow companies do to keep their information safe? Almost 70% of people say that they want companies to offer an extra layer of internet security. Here are four easy security best practices to implement that should be in every title & escrow company’s digital security plan.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) has become a commonly utilized feature by software applications and websites across the internet. 2FA requires more than just a password to log into an account and prove that the user is, in fact, who they say they are. Some sites that host sensitive data (like banking mobile applications) automatically enable 2FA in order for users to sign in.
In most cases, a user will sign in using a password, and then will be prompted to enter a special authorization code that can only be received by text, call, or email to the account holder’s personal phone or email. This adds another layer of security, forcing users to know the account password AND have access to the account’s email address and/or phone. With 86% of people saying that 2FA makes them feel that their accounts are more secure, it’s a widely appreciated feature.
If you use a cloud-based application, it’s possible for users to log on from anywhere using just a computer. While that ability is very convenient, it can leave potential for unauthorized users to access the software if not properly protected.
Highly secure and feature-rich software platforms will offer IP protections, like IP Whitelisting, to allow account administrators to customize what IP addresses are allowed to access the software. That way, if an IP address without permission tries to log into the application, they will be unable to do so.
Password Strength Requirements
One of the most common (but important) security features that websites and applications offer these days is a minimum requirement for password ‘strength’. In most cases, this requires that a user’s password has a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Pictured: Password strength requirements when creating an account with Qualia.
Using a mix of letters, numbers, and characters ensures a password that’s harder to guess - 69% of online adults say that they don’t worry about the security of their passwords, which is why so many sites are turning to password requirements to help fight fraud.
For software administrators, it’s important to be able to control who has an individual user account set up. Title & escrow companies, for instance, have a select list of users authorized to access their closing platform. That list needs to be protected and controlled strictly, so that nobody can create or maintain an account without permission.
In order to provide the most detailed level of security, applications should provide a list of all users with account information, visible to administrators at all times. Administrators should also be able to add or remove accounts as needed. Some cloud-based software programs are starting to offer a “logout user” button, giving administrators the ability to remotely log out any user for security purposes.
As the closing process moves online, privacy and security becomes more and more important. However, by implementing the features above as a part of their digital security plan, title & escrow companies can ensure that the sensitive information they work with on a daily basis stays safe and secure. If you'd like to learn more about Qualia's security features, download our security whitepaper.
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