Once a market that existed solely in the physical world, real estate now finds itself heavily dependent upon the internet.
Property listings, transactions, and even house tours often occur completely online, facilitated by new platforms and tools.
This shift has dramatically transformed the market, but it also calls for added caution.
There’s always a risk when sharing sensitive information on the internet, as cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated in targeting the real estate sector.
As a real estate agent, it’s important you educate yourself on the risks of doing online transactions. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and your clients.
Real estate agents handle sensitive information that needs to be handled with care and confidentiality.
This information is attractive to cybercriminals, who always have an eye out for any vulnerabilities. Here are some reasons why you need to prioritize digital security:
Buying and selling property means exchanging sensitive information, including social security numbers, personal identification, and financial information.
If this information gets into the wrong hands, the consequences could be devastating.
Hackers who gain access to such information could use it to commit financial fraud, identify theft, or blackmail any of the involved parties.
Real estate transactions involve lots of money—a prize that cybercriminals are always after. In fact, in 2023, data breaches cost an average of 4.45 million USD globally. This showed a 15% increase over the previous three years.
To keep hackers from intercepting funds or manipulating transaction details, it’s important to implement a series of security measures and give you and your client some peace of mind.
In addition to financial consequences, a security breach can seriously damage your professional reputation.
News of a breach can spread quickly and will make potential clients wary of your business. This loss of trust can be extremely difficult to recover from.
Real estate agents must follow strict privacy laws, confidentiality agreements, and consumer protection laws. Breaking these contracts can bring real estate professionals into serious legal trouble.
This could result in heavy fines, legal penalties, or even the suspension or revocation of their professional license.
Everyone should keep an eye out for phishing emails, but that’s especially true for real estate professionals. These emails pose a real threat. In fact, according to the FBI, business email compromise attacks have now become a $51 billion threat.
Make sure that you and all your employees know what these emails look like and how to report them. Education is the first step to running a cyber-secure real estate agency.
Now that you know why cyber security in real estate is important, let’s talk about how to make it happen. Here are some steps you can start taking to protect yourself in the industry.
Success and security go hand-in-hand. By prioritizing your cyber security, you ensure that your customers are satisfied and your business runs smoothly.
Adopt a proactive approach to cybersecurity by implementing the aforementioned tips. Your commitment to protecting sensitive information will help you build trust with your clients and ultimately, boost the reputation of your business.