How Safe Is Your Personal Information?
As a notary and as an individual I am concerned about everyone’s right to privacy. Type a name into any search engine and a startling amount of personal information is at your fingertips. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently established rules designed to safeguard consumers’ private information in the course of real estate and lending transactions.
Is YOUR Notary CFPB Compliant?
Gone are the days when a real estate buyer or borrower drove downtown to a big office building to finalize their transaction. Lenders and Escrow companies have streamlined the process by scheduling a notary to meet with their clients at the time and place that’s most convenient for them. The notary receives the documents via email, witnesses the signatures and returns the documents by email or courier. Notaries must be vigilant to ensure the security of the clients’ information while in the notary’s custody.
Safeguarding my signers’ privacy
I am ever-vigilant about client privacy and have completed a course in GLBA compliance. You may rest assured that my computer, emails, notary journal, printed documents and my office are safe from prying eyes. No one can access my computer physically or remotely. I keep my computer’s security software updated and scanned frequently.
Since ordinary email is not secure, it is critical that PDF transmissions be encrypted. When I return signed documents by email for same-day funding I first send the recipient an email with a password and then, in a separate message, I attach the encrypted PDF file.
Once I’ve finished printing the documents they are erased from my computer using a file-shredding program.
Other Security Measures
Any printed pages that are not returned (i.e. misprints, duplicates) are shredded using a cross-cut shredder. My records are kept in a locked file cabinet along with my journal and notary stamp. When driving, all materials are locked in the trunk of my car. When I’m with a client my briefcase never leaves my sight. Finally, I drop signed documents at a manned courier facility, not a drop box, and obtain a receipt.