Life is full of uncomfortable conversations. From telling your Tinder date it’s just not working out, to calling your parents to say you can’t come home for the holidays, there are plenty of discussions to dread. One unfortunate conversation that’s on the rise, however, involves cybercrimes and real estate transactions. Nobody wants to have to tell a client that their private information – or even payments – have been stolen.
Luckily, there are ways to defend against cybercrimes.
First, however, it’s worth knowing what you’re up against. According to Robert Siciliano, CEO of Safr.Me, there has been a dramatic increase in cybercrimes over the last few years alone. Criminals are growing more organized and skilled, so it’s crucial to ensure your data is secure.
The good news is that securing your information can be easier (and cheaper!) than you expect.
Many crimes have been successfully committed simply because users haven’t taken cybersecurity seriously. Weak passwords, for instance, can make a data breach much more likely. These are passwords like “password” or “abcde.” Not only does Siciliano recommend a stronger password, but also implementing two-step verification, which will require more information to log in.
At the National Association for Realtors Conference and Expo, Siciliano explained, “Hackers say once they own your password, they own the email. Because they can pose as you. This can lead to people stealing your information, stealing your client’s information, and even convincing clients to wire money to their account.”
That’s no bueno for business.
It’s also worth discussing cybersecurity with clients early on. Warn them, for instance, about what to do if they get an email from “you” about wiring money to an account you all haven’t discussed. You might even want to bring up passwords – we can all benefit from stronger passcodes.
Just like talking to your kid about keeping the front door closed is easier than breaking the news that their dog ran out the open door and got hit by a car, having slightly uncomfortable conversations with clients early can save you from having the really uncomfortable conversation about accidentally leaking their banking information.
Cybercrimes might be on the rise, but even a few small tweaks can help keep you and your clients safe from digital disaster.