Your Identity Isn’t Safe with Email—Here’s Why
How the Braustin App Better Protects Your Personal Information
Buying a home online, or even in person, will require providing several documents to obtain a home loan. While this information can be hand delivered or mailed, it is often most time effective to send it through email. But, that may not be the best option either. Keep reading to discover the surprising insecurity of email and what we offer our customers instead.
Email is one of the top channels we use to communicate, whether through work, service inquiries, or subscriptions. It’s a fantastic means of keeping up with favorite websites as well as doctor appointments or social media notifications.
However, there is something email is not good for. And that’s sharing your personal information.
Tax season is upon us, and that means thousands of people are submitting their taxes only to find out that someone has already filed using their social security number. Meaning, their identity has been stolen.
Unfortunately, we all think this couldn’t happen to us, and share far too much personal information via email than is safe.
Why Isn’t Email Secure?
According to an article on DigitalTrends.Com, “Email isn’t secure because it was never meant to be the center of our digital lives. It was developed when the Internet was a much smaller place,” and thus email security was essentially non-existent, allowing anyone to see the contents of an email who could “watch network traffic or access accounts.”
Today, there are more security measures in place, but they tend to work one-sidedly. If you are emailing securely from you server to a place that isn’t secure, it’s the same thing as assuming you’ll be just as safe walking through your gated community as you would be through downtown at night.
Your email is fine while it’s within your protection but once you share it with someone (which is kind of the point) who is unprotected, consider it vulnerable.
Protecting Emails with Encryption
There are a couple of things you can do to keep at least your personal information safe on both sides should you need to send it by email rather than over the phone or in person—use encryption. You can secure attachments and the body of an email using encryption features from the software you are using.
Programs like Microsoft Word and Adobe .pdfs can be password protected, while using encryption features on your personal email are just a Google search away.
Encryption is simply a fancy term for scrambling or encoding the words on a document to make them unreadable until the correct password is inputted on the recipient’s side to unscramble them.
This adds at least one more layer of protection for your email as it makes the fragile journey through the interwebs. You may have even seen the use of this function when you receive a paystub in your email. Before you can open it, you must enter the password assigned to you.
But it is not practical to do with all your email contacts as each recipient will need their personal password to receive emails from you and they might start thinking of you as that paranoid guy in the Mission Impossible movies.
Your Email Password Isn’t Enough
So why isn’t your email login password and your recipient’s password enough protection?
Well, if you think about the way we use email today, we typically are not firing up our computer towers, loading the dial-up internet, and logging carefully in to see about grandma’s chain email of the day.
Our smart phones, tablets, and laptops are automatically logged in for the most part and the only thing separating hackers and data thefts is our main screen login. Or, if you don’t have a password on your device, there aren’t any layers of protection at all.
Most of us are not sitting around just sending our social security numbers to people all day and therefore aren’t heavily exposed to data theft, however, there are some key times in life (like buying a home) when you might be doing just that, so it’s important to be aware of how you are handling the security of sending that information.
The Braustin App for Information Security
While our major emphasis when we talk about the Braustin App is how easy and convenient it is, one of our biggest motivators for creating the app was to give our customers a secure place to upload personal documents with minimal risk of exposing themselves to fraud.
Unlike email, when you upload a document through our app it goes directly from your device to the app’s server.
You are automatically logged off the app when you move to another screen and each password is randomly generated with a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols.
How secure is this system?
Well, we hired a professional hacking company to tell us just that.
Their conclusion was, with a direct hacking method of attempting to guess the user’s password, hackers would be working on cracking the software for about 500 years!
This is due in large part to our software utilizing a double encryption method, which means there are multiple layers hackers would need to decipher before unscrambling the information being transmitted over the app.
So aside from the efficiency of avoiding the extra steps to scan, save, find, attach, and send a document through email, we chose to invest in the Braustin App to protect our customers from the potential catastrophe of identity theft.
So whether you choose to utilize the app when purchasing a home with us or go with a completely different company altogether, consider setting up an encryption password with your sales representative to cover your bases and protect your personal information.