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Cybersecurity Checklist: Best Practices for Real Estate Professionals

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

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