Best Online Security Tips for Real Estate Agencies
We are living in a time of data breach such that any time you connect to the internet; you expose yourself to cyber-attacks. Hackers can access different kinds of information from your transactions and policies to your clients’ personal and private information.
Every day there are data security breaches, and if they happen to you, they could have a real cost to your firm regarding revenue and reputation. Therefore, every real estate agent should have the right tools and essentials to protect themselves as well as their clients against hackers. Some of the best ways to ensure this security include:
1. Use a Virtual Private Network
A VPN is a technology which builds an encrypted connection over a network that is not entirely secure. It’s a technique that uses encryption to provide secure access to a remote computer over the internet. The VPN is beneficial since it enables you to communicate across public networks as if you are directly connected to a private network instead of the regular servers which are accessible to hackers. There're many VPN services available providing different services such as VPN for China, VPN for torrenting etc. Actually even a cheap VPN can increase your online security a lot.
2. Use Encryption
Encryption is a way of securing information through encoding the messages such that only authorized parties can read it. To access and read encrypted information, one must have the password or key to decrypt it. Use reliable software such as Mailvelope and Gnu Privacy Guard to encrypt emails and other files, increasing your online security.
3. Configure Computers for Security and Update Regularly
The most basic security measure is configuring the right security settings on your PC. Make sure that you configure your settings in a way that maximizes security. Test your settings and security patches regularly using the right tools and check for updates regularly. Some of the tools for this are Secunia PSI and Microsoft Baseline.
4. Install Good Antivirus Software
Some cyber-attacks come in the form of a virus. However, with good antivirus software, such attacks can be prevented. Although no single antivirus can protect against all viruses, it’s good to get the best since it will ensure protection you against most of the viruses.
5. Use the Agency’s Private Domain
It is safer and more secure to use the agency’s private domain than using the regular domains, Gmail and Yahoo. Therefore, avoid using your personal email account when communicating with clients and also encourage your agents to use the agency’s e-mail address.
6. Use Secure Software for Storage and Management of Sensitive Information
Never use software with a bad security history to transmit ad store sensitive information. Use professional-grade transaction and document management tools to ensure maximum security of the sensitive information.
7. Train Your Agents to Identify Phishing Scams
Hackers can carry out phishing attack in the form of an e-mail. They use a hacked e-mail account and make it look like a trustworthy person. The email contains a link which when you open installs a malware on your network or PC. Therefore, all agents must be able to identify such emails and exercise caution when opening such links.
8. Have a Cyber Liability Insurance Policy
A backup plan is necessary in case somehow the unfortunate happens. This policy can cover the issues which may arise as a result of information security breach such as privacy breaches.
With this security tips in mind, you can increase online security and make sure you can run your business smoothly as a real estate agent.