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Realtors' Guide to Cybersecurity That Works

Cybercriminals don’t differentiate between real estate sectors. They attack all players in the space equally, including agents, buyers, escrow firms, insurance agents, inspectors and even title companies. Could you become a victim of phishing, ransomware or worse? Use this information to protect yourself and your clients.

Ways to protect yourself:

Train people on cybersecurity.

Brokers and managers: Don’t assume everyone on your staff knows what they’re doing. Teach your agents and staff about the red flags. Require them to change passwords frequently and talk about the different scams out there.

Require confirmation of wiring instructions.

Tell your customers that they need phone confirmation before they wire any money. It’s not enough for the real estate agent to verify they received your email, because they may have sent an email that the hacker intercepts and deletes before they send a fraudulent one.

Know your Information Technology (IT) people.

Did you do a background check on your IT person? Many IT people got into the profession because they were hackers and decided they needed another way to make a living. We suggest you use a reputable, established company and make sure you properly vet any new hires.

Back up everything, daily or hourly.

Aside from good cybersecurity basic protocols, you must have everything backed up. We have to wipe the hard drives to make sure hackers can’t come back in again, but that means you’ll lose all of your data unless you have a backup. The backup needs to be separate from the main services, such as an external hard drive or in the cloud.

Know your FBI office.

Know the point of contact to call in case you’ve been a victim of a hacker or cybercrime. But, more importantly, the time to contact the FBI is not when you’re a victim. Build that relationship. There are also public-private alliances that you can join, such as InfraGard. They will send you frequent notices about the types of threats out there.

December 1, 2022.Florida Realtor. The Realtors' Guide to Cybersecurity That Works.

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