One of the easiest targets of cyber attacks and social engineering are small businesses and professionals; like Realtors and Brokers.
Why is this?
Because Realtors are sales agents, their energy and focus is on being productive and generating sales through marketing, etc.
Having strong security can make you more money, by preventing you from losing money and resources in the event of a cyber attack that shuts down your business for weeks or months…happens all the time!
Hardening or securing their devices is not always a priority because..what are the chances anything could happen to them?
Unfortunately things are getting really bad on the cyber fronts, they are kind of winning..and the reason you don’t know this is because the bad threat actors are very smart. They can hack into your life and you wouldn’t even know it…that is, until you get a notification from the bank that there are unauthorized charges on your credit card, or your credit is destroyed, or you suffer some form of identity theft, or even worse…you are a business owner and your business suffers a ransomware attack or some other form of attack. The statistic is that over 60% of cyber attacked businesses never recover, yes that’s correct, they go out of business. Just think of the negative publicity a cyber attack could do to your customer base or new customers.
Simple steps any Realtor can take to mitigate cyber threats starting now.
Bad actors use sophisticated programs to calculate passwords, simple passwords with simple phrases can be cracked really fast nowadays. Make your password longer with a mic of numbers, symbols and capital letters and dont use simple nouns or adjectives.
Use a VPN On Your Phone, Laptop and Desktop Computer
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is available to anyone now for a small fee per month. The VPN encrypt your internet traffic by using a virtual “Tunnel” thta cannot be hacked or breached.
We recommend Proton VPN or ExpressVPN, and you want to make sure you use the OpenVPN protocol, as it is the highest security available and is virtually un-crackable. These VPN vendors are very cheap, anywhere from FREE to $15 per month but WELL worth the peace of mind.
Do Not Click on Suspicious WEB LINKS, EMAILS or TEXT MESSAGES
This is the NUMBER ONE problem, people still click on phishing emails and links that are made to look authentic. Once you lick on these, the malware gets downloaded onto your device. The rest is history. Most of the time you won’t even know you have malware.
Install Anti-Virus and Keep Your Computer/Devices Updated
Very important, WIndows, Apple and ANdroid need to stay updated, those are important security patches that need to be installed to protect you from newly discovered Internet threats. Keep your devices updated at all time, most OS updates are security patches anyways.
Make Sure Your Business Website SSL/TLS Certificate Is Working
Not having a secured website is leaving a door open for Man-In-The-Middle attacks. As a business or Realtor you do not want your clients visiting your website to have a hacked experience.
Do Not Store Your Passwords In The Cloud or On Your Local Computer Files
This is an obvious mistake yet we see many companies do this. Usually the cloud vendor you are using has very strong security measures in place, the mistake most companies make is they transfer the password document in an unsecure local environment. Generally their poor LAN network is already compromised by recon malware and could grab a copy your password file when you download it or re-upload it, or if it is in any improperly secured Windows work folders.