Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 8, 2022

Protecting your identity when buying a home

From your Social Security number to your bank statement, you share significant personal information during the homebuying process. The increase of sensitive data accessed by multiple sources also heightens your risk of identity theft.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safer during and after buying or selling your home.

Ask about security protocols

Don’t be shy about asking every professional involved how they manage your personal information. With the amount of data shared during the loan application process, it’s especially imperative that you ask your lender about their security protocols.

If you’re expected to email sensitive information such as W-2s or tax documents, ask if the communication is secure before sending.

Secure personal devices

With more of your personal information being shared and stored on your own devices, it’s important to assess your own security measures as well.

Change any weak passwords and be sure you’re not using the same password for multiple accounts.

Install antivirus software to help prevent your devices from being compromised. Once the home buying or selling process is complete, make sure you delete any unnecessary files in case your device is ever lost or stolen.

Keep personal documents safe

When you’re moving from one house to another, it can be easy to lose track of some personal items. Take time before packing to ensure all your important paperwork is stored in a secure location. If you’re tossing any old documents, shred them before placing them in the trash.

Consider identity theft protection

Using an identity theft protection program that will monitor your credit is a great idea during any major life transitions. These services keep watch over your identity 24/7 and can alert you if anything suspicious occurs.

Many banks and credit card companies offer these services free or at a discount for members, which can help protect your identity and credit during and after the home buying process.

For more helpful guidance as you navigate home ownership, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga online at www.HBAGC.net.