Realtor Cybersecurity Checklist: Best Practices in an Industry at Risk

Real estate transactions are just the latest favorite target of cyber criminals looking to exploit and profit off of U.S. businesses’ weak points. Besides the costs associated with a large-scale data breach, a single data breach can have a devastating impact on a Realtor®’s reputation.

Here are recommendations to keep you and your clients’ information safe and secure.

Realtor Cybersecurity Best Practices

Email and Password Security

  • Encrypt your communications, preferably through a secure document-sharing program like CertainSafe’s Secure Portal.
  • Do not click on attachments or links in mysterious or untrustworthy emails; you maybe downloading malware;
  • Closely guard login information to email and/or any other services necessary in the transaction;
  • Delete all your emails regularly; archive important emails in a secure location
  • Do not use business names and/or years as a password; use long, complicated passwords;
  • Do not reuse passwords for different accounts and services;
  • Use two-factor authentication whenever possible;
  • Do not conduct business over unsecured Wi-Fi connections.

IT Security Measures

  • Actively update all firewalls and antivirus software;
  • Keep all programs and your operating system patched and up-to-date;
  • Back up critical systems, applications, and data regularly; store data separate from online systems;
  • Never download programs or apps without verifying they are from a legitimate source; many apps install malware;
  • Never click on links in text messages from unknown senders;
  • Have your attorney review the privacy policy of any outside IT provider
  • Prior to engaging any outside IT provider, review the applicable privacy policies and contracts with your attorney.

Law and Policy Considerations

  • With the guidance of your attorney, write a disclosure that warns clients of the possibility of cybercrime and reminds them to never wire closing money without first confirming the wiring instructions over the phone to the intended recipient;
  • Maintain a knowledge of your state’s current laws regarding:
    • Personally identifiable information
    • Cyber and data-related business policies
    • Other legally mandated business security practices
  • Create and implement policies for:
    • Breach Response and Breach Notification
    • Document Destruction and Retention
    • Data Security and Cyber Security
  • Verify that your entire staff and licensees have reviewed the policies; ensure that all parties remain in compliance policies with regular audits.

Realtors: there’s Secure, then there’s CertainSafe

Our security solution is uniquely suited to real estate transactions, where the need for the highest level of data security must be balanced with the need for flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility.

CertainSafe’s Secure Portal platform provides assurance for buyers sellers that their personal data will remain personal and private, and gives real estate professionals the ability to share documents and collaborate on issues in a highly secure manner and perform comprehensive audits.

Our system works thanks to our own proprietary MicroEncryption® – MicroTokenization® solutions, which we maintain within our PCI DSS Level 1 Certified, HIPAA Compliant, and co-located server systems.

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