By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
Working from home? Getting used to a new work environment is stressful and somewhat overwhelming for settlement agents who are used to collaborating constantly with their colleagues and customers in their office space.
It is challenging to create a professional workspace in a home environment with spouses, children and pets all around. However, protecting non–public consumer information is still paramount for settlement agents. Read "WORKING from home" to find measures to maintain the security and confidentiality of the information settlement agents handle daily.
Nearly three years ago, Diana Hoffman, Corporate Escrow Administrator, attended a training event where a Senior Special Agent with the FBI, specializing in Cyber Crimes, spoke. He shared examples of FBI cyber cases and investigations. He also spoke about the FBI's need for public involvement in thwarting cyber–crime and terrorism. As a result, the FBI launched the initiative "INFRAGARD" and explained the group's name is purposefully missing a "U." Read the article to discover why.
Technology is nothing to be afraid of. Some of you may remember back when settlement agents had to balance and type a HUD–1 Settlement Statement using a calculator and a typewriter. Offices typed them in triplicate using carbon paper and had Wite–Out® in three colors: White, yellow and pink. Eventually, computers and software made it possible to balance and prepare the HUD–1 Settlement Statement.
Some agents fought the technology and some embraced it, but now everyone uses computers. Computers do the math, produce the forms and documents we need, and correct mistakes — making everything so much easier. What does this have to do with anything? Technology is ever changing.
It is important all of us identify new technology we can embrace to increase efficiency and the overall customer experience. This month's cyber buzz article entitled "ROBOTS and ai" will explore new technologies that can be used in our industry.