Recently our team got together and developed a revised security strategy for our business. We are not oblivious to the fact that phishing scams, hackers, and spamming cases have increased exponentially over the past few years. We have implemented a security protocol and are requiring all of our employees and agents abide.
As technology becomes more and more pervasive, and we become reliant on the internet/cloud to compete day to day tasks, the target for hackers becomes larger. The way we see it, you can choose to be security ignorant or security proactive and protect yourself and your clients from potential internet threats.
This is the route we have chosen, and while yes, there are a few extra steps/annoyances with striving for a secure environment. These annoyances allow us to sleep at night knowing that we are doing the best we can to protect us and our clients private information.
Recently, hackers targeted the Real Estate industry, (full details here) Most of this attack was phishing based, and the chosen medium was email, the hackers posed as a closing or title company for an upcoming transaction and requested wire transfers to a corrected account. These attackers are smart and they know how to make documents, websites, forms etc... look legit.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Here are a few tips, make sure to consult with a security expert to make sure you are doing all that you can to protect yourself and your clients privacy;
Change your passwords, put a password on all of your devices, phone, tablet, computer... make sure to set a timeout screen or screensaver where login is required. Logout of your machines when leaving your devices unattended. Make sure these devices have a remote wipe feature in case they are stolen.
Turn on 2nd factor authentication, this is especially important for your email, bank account. 2nd factor requires the hacker to have something physically available to them to authorize access such as your cell phone... It makes it a whole lot harder for them to gain access.
Be Critical! Be especially critical of emails requesting something from you, clicking a link or opening an attached file. Be wary of password reset emails or any other email requesting sensitive information, it is best to reset any password directly from a URL rather than clicking a link requested from an email. Especially if you did not request to change your password!
Avoid using public WiFi hot spots, especially those that are not password protected, I have seen instances of fake broadcasts at coffee shops, for instance while visiting a Starbucks, you may see 'StarbucksWiFi' (neighboring attacker in nearby apartment) where the correct network is 'Google Starbucks'.
Encrypt private data or send via shareable link, you should not send SSN and bank account data over non-encrypted email. This will require the end user to provide a password to open the file.
At EvoReal we strive to serve our clients like that of a friend or family member. Contact us for more information on local Real Estate trends or if you or someone you know may be ready or thinking of listing their home. We are industry experts and know the market.
Call us today at (509) 62-HOUSE we enjoy hearing from you!
Author:Matt Side Phone: 509-624-6873 Dated: March 28th 2016 Views: 430 About Matt: I am a previously licensed mortgage broker, however, I do not actively offer loans instead I offer m...
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Buying a new home or selling an old one is a very personal matter. EvoReal is Spokane's local real estate expert we are a family-owned company where we believe that everyone deserves special attention when it comes to buying or selling their home. We are a small firm by design, we know that our size enables us to really get to know our clients and to quickly adapt to the ever-changing world of real estate. We love Spokane and the Inland Northwest. We love the people who live and work here; they are hard working and so are we. Everyday we use the most modern real estate marketing tools and techniques, dig through thousands of homes for sale to find the right one, and make sure every detail of the home buying and selling process is being attended to, making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Your goals, not ours, are the priority. We hope we get a chance to work with you. Please contact us to ask any questions or to set up an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!
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"I was interested in purchasing an out-of-state foreclosure I found online. I sent an email inquiry to EvoReal. I was contacted by agent Laura Beckman. Laura scouted out the property for me right away. The foreclosure property I was interested in was in need a new roof and the previous owners did some serious interior damage on their way out the door.
Laura hit the ground running again. By the next day I had a list of alternate properties to go over. I selected a few of the properties. With me being out of state, Laura previewed the homes for me, sent me pictures and videos, comps and the following day I was able to make an offer long distance. I was able to sign documents via an online service. This process was made practically seamless compared to my last few home purchases. I feel very lucky to have connected with this agent and recommend her highly!"