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Why Real Estate Agents Need To Be Cyber Aware

Written by Posted On Thursday, 16 May 2019 07:13
Cyber security Cyber security

Nearly every week of the year there are reports of a data breach, hacking or a company losing personal data belonging to their customers. The worth of cyber crime is growing continually worldwide.

Realtors need to be aware of the cyber threats out there that could affect their business.

The results of a data breach could result in the following:

Loss of customer data

Misuse of customer data

Loss of trust in your brand

Legal implications

Loss of business

Lets not forget that some companies in the past have folded as a result of data breaches. A Phishing attack is often the main source of data breach for a company.


Why The Real Estate Market Is A Prime Target For Cyber Criminals

Realtors are potentially one of the most lucrative targets for cyber criminals. The reason for this, is that realtors deal with people who are considered a prime target for cyber criminals as they are considered to have wealth. For those who are looking to invest in real estate, they are certain to have capital.

Realtors also require personal information of customers in order to do business. This information is usually stored on a customer relationship management software system (CRM system). Should a cyber criminal gain access to this CRM system, they will obtain all data from your customers which could be misused to gain access to customers bank accounts, or the data could be sold to another party for further misuse.


How to Prevent a Data Breach

Because of the nature of cyber crime, there is no definitive way to prevent a data breach. You can however take steps to better protect your business from phishing.

Phishing comes in may guises including:

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information and focuses on a specific person or individual is an organisation. Emails are often disguised as someone within an organisation targeting those in the same organisation or to staff in a connected organisation.


Vishing , or voice phishing are phishing scams that take place over a phone call. Calls are usually made with a spoofed ID. Usually a vishing attack involves a phone call from a scammer posing as a an employee for a bank. As a result they will ask for personal information such as passwords and pin details.


Whaling is a specific type of phishing attack where those in a senior management position are targeted in an attempt to steal sensitive information. This type of email is more sophisticated compared what we consider as being a spam email, therefore, can be more deceiving.


Smishing involves SMS messages rather than emails. These types of emails usually request account details, credit card details, usernames and passwords.

One of the best ways to stop a security breach is to learn about the causes. It is highly important that your staff are aware of the dangers that are posed when it comes to cyber security for realtors.

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