I just "attended" the NAR webinar on safety--guarding your identity and that of your clients. The presenter, Andrew Wooten reminded us of something I had frankly forgotten about.
In 1999 Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This legislation defines "financial institution" in a way that makes us all financial institutions, and liable to our clients for protecting the safety of their personal and financial information. If we collect or possess the personal or financial information of others, to include name, address, phone, date of birth, and social security number we qualify as a financial institution.
Have you ever written down someone's name and phone number? Do you have their address? Does your data base contain dates of birth? Have you ever written a client's social security number on a form? If you control any of these bits of information and they are lost or stolen, then YOU are liable to the client for damages suffered.
So, this comes as a reminder that your smart phone, your laptop, your purse, your briefcase, your desk, your home office, your workplace and your car are all targets for identity theft and must be protected at all times. Think about the amount of information you control and how best to protect it. Your financial future may depend on it!
For more information on Realtor safety, Andrew Wooten can be contacted through www.JustBeSafe.com.