Have you heard of PII? That's not the Greek letter or the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. PII stands for Personally Identifiable Information, that is, any information that could potentially identify an individual such as a social security number, tax information, etc. When you buy or sell a property, you leave a trail of PII in the documentation required for the transaction, whether there is a mortgage involved or it's a cash transaction.
One of the main tenets of the title and settlement services business has always been to treat your personal information as sacred. We dedicate ourselves to guarding your information, shielding it from the view of anyone except the real estate professionals who are involved in your transaction.
Before the 21st century, that meant keeping paper documents under lock and key, sharing them only with those with a need to have access to them and shredding tons of paper annually. We still follow all those practices of course, but with the growth of financial technology, or FinTech, our challenge has grown to include securing your information as it is transmitted through cyber space between us, your lawyer, your mortgage lender and county officials responsible for recording your transaction.
Mortgage lenders increasingly are being scrutinized for their vendor management practices, and they demand assurance from their title agents about how we are protecting their customers' personal information that we store or access.
Today, the mortgage and settlement services industry is fully immersed in cybersecurity efforts. In fact, The American Land Title Association, our national industry association, has put in place a series of cybersecurity best practices that we have adopted at Prairie Title to shield your information from Internet scammers.
Through the use of encrypted email and cloud-based document storage technology we have built the highest level of cybersecurity into our closing and settlement processes. Those added layers of security were a challenge to implement, but they also have side benefits.
For instance, because we can send documents via the Internet as they are updated in the pre-closing process, we now churn out less paper than we did in the past. That's a positive for the environment, of course, but it also helps minimize the amount of paper we need to be vigilant about guarding from prying eyes.
With the implementation of technologically advanced systems to house and protect data, we also are now able to offer our industry clients and home buyers and sellers permanent electronic storage for their files with 24/7 access. In other words, when you close with us, you gain electronic storage and access to your closing files that never expires.
At Prairie Title, we are dedicated to offering our customers the highest levels of professionalism along with innovative products and services, all while providing the highest level of security. When you choose Prairie Title, we will close your transaction smoothly and in a timely manner, and you can rest assured that your personal information will be secure.