How to help prevent a possible lawsuit
Free tools you can use to securely send your client’s info
As agents we have to keep our client’s data secure. In fact, agents are held to strict standards when transferring client’s information under Federal Law. Any breach of your client’s information can mean big penalties and even possible lawsuits. That means we have to work hard to keep this data safe from outside eyes, including hackers. You may have heard about one of the many big data breaches recently, and your information was probably compromised in one of those. It doesn’t feel good knowing that your information is floating out on the web available to purchase.
Considering the amount of information that agents take from clients, every step should be taken to secure it and lock it down tight. If you are submitting your business through eApps, you have a lot less to worry about when transmitting this information. It is safe guarded by either the carrier or 3rd party companies that have security protocols in place to send your client’s information securely. If you are still using paper applications to write business, you must ensure that your clients information is sent in a protected manner. We are going to explore some ways that you can transmit these paper applications, while locking down your email from prying eyes.
Disclaimer: Pegasus is not an attorney and cannot offer legal advice. These are just our opinions on good practices that you can implement and take a proactive approach to keep data safe.
Uploading your applications, requirements, and contracting information
Emailing your applications un-encrypted are a sure way that your client’s information can be picked up by an unintended recipient. Instead of quickly just opening your inbox and shooting off a quick email, many carriers, including Pegasus, offer a way that you can securely upload your documents. Best of all you don’t need to worry about addressing it to the wrong person or worrying about large attachments failing to send. It is as easy as attaching your file to an email. Most systems allow you to add notes to the case as well.
Sending an encrypted email
We just spoke about the uploading vs emailing. However, many people still prefer to stick to their trusted inbox. It seems to be our lifeline and it helps us keep a record on when we sent information. So, if you are going to continue to use your old friend, here are a few services you can use to encrypt your message to help keep your data as safe as possible.
Outlook with Office 365
Outlook users that subscribe to Office 365 should now be seeing a new option in their web based email. While not technically free, a lot of professionals are already subscribed to this service to use other office products, like Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and more. Encrypting your email messages allows you to encrypt not only the text in your message, but also the attachments you send. You can choose to encrypt just a single message or every message that you send.
It’s easy to use, just create your email like you normally would, then click the “Encrypt” button at the top of menu. Once done you will have two options 1) Encrypt 2) Encrypt & Prevent Forwarding. Both will cause your message to be sent to your recipient using a web based system that will let your client read and download your attachments. It will require them to either sign into their account if using a Microsoft account. If not, then they will just need to enter a code that will be emailed to them in a separate message.
ProtonMail is a free service that allows you to get an encrypted email box and send messages securely. Based in Switzerland, this service allows you a safe way to store messages by encrypting everything. However, make sure to keep your password safe, as if you lose it and have to reset it, you will lose access to your previous messages. It also gives you another way to secure outgoing messages. Once you complete a new email, and before you hit send, you have 2 extra options of encrypting your email with a password, as well as setting an expiration date. The encryption password is set by you and something that you will have to send to your recipient after, either in another email or by giving them the information over the phone. Again, all your text and documents cannot be read without this password. Also, by setting an expiration date to the message you can rest easy knowing that your email and contents will be deleted at a specific time that you choose. This means that after a certain time, all contents of that message will be destroyed and not available to anyone but you.
Time to get started
In short, there are easy and free tools that are available to you today to start submitting your paper applications, requirements or even contracts securely. By taking the time to explore new options, you can start taking the appropriate actions to safely transmit your’s and your client’s information to outside sources.
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