Cyber Security: What you need to know to protect your clients and yourself!

We all need as realtors to be even more vigilant with the amount of malware and cyber attackers targeting real estate transactions nationwide.  This is a prominent problem here in the Tampa Bay area, and all around Florida. In this article, we have included useful tips, things to be aware of, and important facts that we all should be aware of.

We all need to take IMMEDIATE action in protecting ourselves and our customers even more than

normal with this new “hacking scam” that is on the rise.

1. PLEASE NOTIFY ANY CUSTOMERS THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING WITH (BOTH BUYER

AND SELLER), THAT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THEY EVER RECEIVE AN EMAIL FROM YOU

ASKING THEM TO WIRE MONEY TO A TITLE COMPANY OR ANYONE ELSE!!! IF THEY EVER DO

RECEIVE SUCH AN EMAIL ASK THEM TO CALL YOU IMMEDIATELY AND DO NOTHING UNTIL THEY

TALK WITH YOU.

2. THEN PLEASE EXPLAIN TO YOUR CUSTOMER WHEN THE TIME COMES THAT THEY NEED TO

MAKE THEIR WIRE TRANSFER, THEY GO DIRECTLY TO THE TITLE COMPANY THAT THEY WILL BE

WORKING WITH, AND INTRODUCE THEMSELVES, AND REQUEST THEM TO PRINT OUT THEIR

WIRING INSTRUCTIONS AND “HAND THE DOCUMENT TO THEM”. THIS MAY TAKE A LITTLE

EXTRA TIME OUT OF THEIR DAY, BUT IN THE LONG RUN IT COULD SAVE THEM THOUSANDS OF

DOLLARS.

3. LASTLY, PLEASE MAKE IT A POINT TO CHANGE “ALL” OF YOUR PASSWORDS ON YOUR EMAIL

ACCOUNTS, DOCUSIGN (OR ANY OTHER SERVICE YOU USE), MLS, ETC. “AND CHANGE THOSE

PASSWORDS ON A REGULAR BASIS”. MY SUGGESTION WOULD BE TO DO SO ONCE A MONTH.

Please know that most of these hackers are looking for any opportunity to invade your privacy and steal

money from you or your customers. Be careful with what you put online. Make sure you never check

that little box to that asks if you want your password remembered! That gives hackers easier entry to

your information! Always delete your internet history and passwords daily if possible, but certainly on a

regular basis.

EVERY TIME YOU ARE ONLINE YOU ARE LEAVING YOURSELVES OPEN TO BECOMING A STATISTIC, SO

BE CAREFUL, AND BE SMART! Public WiFi is not a secure connection and should not be used to

conduct business. We all must be using secure email addresses and taking steps to protect ourselves,

our clients and our company. We will be implementing company emails here in the next few days,

giving each of you the protection that is needed in order to provide your clients the best service

possible. Also, there will be changes to our policies and procedures within the office to ensure that as

a company we are protecting our clients to the best of our ability. Finally, we are in the process of

obtaining Appfiles for our document management system. YOU MIGHT THINK THIS COULD NEVER

HAPPEN TO YOU, BUT UNFORTUNATELY ONCE IT DOES HAPPEN IT’S TOO LATE.

 

 

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