Cybersecurity Hygiene Tips
Steve Jacobson and the Steve Jacobson Group want to encourage you to follow best practices when it comes to online security. Your personal information including social security numbers, bank account, credit cards and mortgage information can be at risk through out of date passwords and open access WiFi systems. Follow the steps below and you will be doing your best keep yourself safe from would be hackers and information thieves.
With our Partners at Land Title Guarantee and the National Cybersecurity Center we have compiled these cybersecurity hygiene practices for safer and more secure digital business and personal transactions.
- EVERY electronic device should have its own unique password.
- If bad guys get one password…you don’t want them to get them all.
- Use a password locker to keep your passwords.
- Use letters, numbers and symbols that aren’t real words/grammatically correct.
- Change passwords annually.
- Don’t let the Internet “save” your password.
- Use 2-factor authentication.
- Pay attention to emails. Don’t click on unfamiliar or unsolicited messages or links.
- Clean out your email daily, and save important emails to a secure location.
- According to the FBI and Colorado Department of Real Estate’s December 2016 alert, the single best way to combat wire fraud is to “verify the authenticity of the requests by speaking to people directly before transmitting wire requests.”
- Don’t email your credit card information.
- Does every form need your SSN?
- Where do you store your data?
- Leave something to the imagination, minimize details, and don’t give out contact details.
- What are you saying yes to? Does the flashlight app need access to your contacts, mic and photos?
- Be mindful of embedded malware, Craigslist ads, and email links.
- Don’t use kiosks, public computers, and public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information.
- Use ad blockers.
- Use anti-virus protection.
- Don’t save wiring instructions on your desktop and send them to the client. Title companies should always send the instructions via secured email.
- What are their cybersecurity policies?
- “Yahoo was always bad at security, and they had a big breach and didn’t admit it. If you’re still using an AOL or Yahoo email account, it could come back to bite you.” Craig Grant, CEO at the Real Estate Technology Institute
- Just a little bit of research on that vendor and how it treats security can save you a big headache down the line.
If you discover that your email has been hacked or compromised, be sure to do the following:
- Immediately change all usernames and passwords.
- Contact any clients that may have been involved during this time.
- Report the fraudulent activity to the FBI.
- Also report the fraudulent activity to the state and local REALTOR associations so they can spread the word.
NAR for REALTORS
Colorado Bureau of Investigation
ALTA Article on Wire Fraud