Cybercrime can be devastating to real estate professionals and their clients. The following is a quick checklist that offers some best practices to help real estate professionals curb the risk of cybercrime.
1. Email and Password Hygiene
- Never click on unknown attachments or links, as doing so can download malware onto your device.
- Use encrypted email, a transaction management platform, or a document-sharing program to share sensitive information.
- Carefully guard login and access credentials to email and other services used in the transaction.
- Regularly purge your email account, and archive important emails in a secure location.
- Use long, complicated passwords such as phrases or a combination of letters, numbers, symbols.
- Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Consider using a password manager.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever it is available.
- Avoid doing business over public, unsecured Wi-Fi.
2. IT-based Security Measures
- Keep antivirus software and firewalls active and up-to-date on your computers.
- Keep your operating system and programs patched and up-to-date.
- Regularly back up critical data, applications, and systems, and keep backed up data separate from online systems.
- Don’t download apps without verifying that they are legitimate and won’t install malware or breach privacy.
- Don’t click on links in texts from unknown senders.
- Prior to engaging any outside IT provider, review the applicable privacy policies and contracts with your attorney.
3. Law, Policy, and Insurance Considerations
- In collaboration with your company’s attorney, develop a written disclosure warning clients of the possibility of transaction-related cybercrime. Stay up-to-date on your state’s laws regarding personally identifiable information, the development and maintenance of cyber and data-related business policies, and other required security-related business practices.
- Ensure that your staff and licensees have reviewed and are following all implemented policies.
- Review your current insurance coverage, and ask your insurance agent about cyber insurance and the availability and applicability of products such as social engineering fraud endorsements and computer & electronic crime riders.
For more information about cybercrime and cybersecurity, please contact our team at Sales@DataSafellc.com