What are the cybersecurity tips for real estate agents they should be on the lookout for? Well, since a majority of modern business is done via the internet, we have to be extra cautious about who has access to our personal information.
Real estate industries are right up there along with every other industry when it comes to the importance of the internet. Now, more than ever, clients and real estate agents are turning to the web to get their real estate transactions done, from the first showing of the home to the very last signature.
That means that there’s a lot of personal information floating out there on the web, ripe for a security breach. Let’s just go through a few facts and figures here:
- In 2019, 43% of data breaches involved small businesses.
- 62% of businesses experienced phishing and social engineering attacks in 2018.
- 52% of breaches featured hacking, 28% involved malware and 32–33% included phishing or social engineering, respectively.
With all of those threats – phishing emails, data breaches, wiring fraud, bad actors gaining access to systems, and operating system attacks – cybersecurity needs to be at the top of mind for any real estate business.
So what are the top cybersecurity tips for real estate agents? Let’s go through them in this blog:
In the world of cybersecurity for real estate professionals, passwords, more specifically, strong passwords, are a key. Don’t make your login password something simple and juicy for hackers; no middle names, birthdays, or names of your son or daughter. Instead, use a tough combination of numbers, letters, and symbols for data security.
Be sure to put that same sort of regulations for strong passwords in effect across your office, if you are a member of one. Communicate regularly with your employees and clients about the password strategy, rules, and regulations. Forming strong passwords is the simplest (and most effective) way to institute strong cybersecurity for your real estate business and prevent bad actors from gaining access to sensitive information.
Your financial partners are crucial elements of your everyday work and they’re also the places where cybersecurity matters the most. Don’t forget, true cybersecurity extends to your partners and vendors, as well. Before you choose a bank or other financial institution to work with, be sure that you know and feel comfortable with their level of security. Ask how they can integrate your own product within their cybersecurity framework. Check in on their regulations and efforts to prevent fraud and protect their customers. You don’t want all of your hard work ruined by the failures of the people you choose to partner with.
Another level of security beyond a strong password? Two factor authentication. You’ve probably encountered this type of protection somewhere in your everyday life; at a bank or local office network, for example. This other factor provides an extra layer of security beyond a password. With two factor authentication, you must produce a second piece of proof that you are who you are beyond a password. That usually means a piece of software installed on a phone or other mobile device that can provide that second authentication. Consult with your technology specialists to see what types of two factor authentication would work best for your specific company.
One of the best cybersecurity tips for real estate agents? Be sure you have a backup! You can have the best possible security measures to protect all of that personal information, sensitive information, social security numbers, and other secure data, but the most determined hackers still might find a way to get in and crash the server.
That means a secure, offline operating system backup is an excellent option for your real estate business. Find a trusted source to host a backup for all of this data just in case data breaches or other attacks occur. Another benefit for your backup server? It’s a great marketing point; put your commitment to safety and security in your marketing materials or on your website to impress potential customers.
Working from home on your generic wireless network? Here’s a news flash, that same network your kids might use to play Minecraft might not offer the level of security the sensitive information on your computer deserves. A security breach could occur at home just as it could on a work computer, and, on many occasions, your home computer’s wireless network might even be a better target for hackers. The same rules of security apply to your home network. Develop some strong passwords for your home system and consider installing a firewall for protection.
Education and awareness are two giant weapons in the cybersecurity war and make up some of the best cybersecurity tips for real estate agents. Keep on top of all of those new threats and trends coming out of the cybersecurity landscape, and alert employees to them. Train employees on some basics of cybersecurity – strong passwords, firewalls, two factor authentication, and more. Learn how to recognize phishing emails and wiring fraud attempts, and pass that wisdom on to your clients as well. Make sure that all the network’s philosophies, rules, and regulations (including any updates) get communicated to everyone that needs to see it. An aware network of real estate agents will provide a significant benefit to your cybersecurity work.
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LemonBrew delivers you the partnership that you’ve been looking for! We also offer:
- No up-front costs. No sign-up fees, annual membership fees, or obligations of any kind.
- You only pay at closing. Only pay your referral fee on closed deals.
- Stay with your brokerage. No need to leave your current brokerage to get all the benefits that LemonBrew offers!
Ready to get started with becoming a LemonBrew partner agent? Learn more here.
One more thing! Be sure to check out the LemonBrew blog to explore some in-depth articles on everything real estate. At the LemonBrew blog, you can enjoy features including “6 Trainer Recommended Weekly Spending Tracking Techniques,” “How a Real Estate Title Search Works,” and “6 Tips for Reviewing Your Real Estate Title Policy.” Read the full LemonBrew blog here!