What Real Estate Professionals Need to Know About Cybersecurity
Real estate professionals need to understand the importance of cybersecurity, as the real estate industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Cybersecurity is the protection of networks, systems and data from unauthorized access, use, disruption, modification, or destruction. It is essential for real estate professionals to protect their networks, systems and data, as well as the customers’ information, from potential cyber threats.
Real estate professionals should start by understanding the types of cyber threats that exist, such as malware, phishing and ransomware. Malware is malicious software that can infect a computer or system, allowing a hacker to gain access to confidential data or disrupt the system. Phishing is when a hacker attempts to steal confidential information by sending an email that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or online retailer. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts data, making it inaccessible until a ransom is paid.
Real estate professionals need to also understand that they have responsibilities to protect customer information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers and other personal information. They should ensure that their systems are secure and that only authorized personnel have access to customer information. They should also have a secure system in place to store customer information, such as a password-protected database.
Real estate professionals should ensure that their systems and networks are regularly updated with the latest security patches and that their antivirus software is up to date. They should also use strong passwords and two-factor authentication when logging into accounts. Additionally, they should use secure data transmission methods, such as HTTPS, to protect customers’ data when it is being transmitted over the internet.
Finally, real estate professionals should consider investing in cyber liability insurance, which will provide financial protection in the event of a cyber attack. It is also important for real estate professionals to be aware of their local, state and federal laws and regulations related to cybersecurity.
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