3 tips you can use to stay #CyberAware all October long

Technology plays an integral role in today’s digital world – both in the office and in our personal lives – so cybersecurity continues to be key for everyone. Real estate professionals like us face the threat of email hackers and other cybercriminals regularly during the battle to keep our customers safe and secure. 

That’s why it’s so important for all of us to celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month throughout October. This initiative, led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), the National Cybersecurity Alliance and other organizations, aims to encourage ongoing discussions about explore ways to enhance online safety., So that’s exactly what we’re doing with this blog. 

Here are ways to keep warding off those pesky and dangerous cybercriminals:  

Use strong passwords. Your passwords are the gatekeepers to your online accounts, so using strong ones is important. A strong password should be at least 15 characters long and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. You should also avoid using common words or phrases, as hackers can easily guess these. Consider using a password manager, too for added security. 

Keep your computer and phone up to date. This one may get skipped over from time to time, but those software updates aren’t something to keep putting off. Why? They often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities. Installing updates as soon as they’re available is important, especially for your operating system, web browser and email client. That’s why it’s important to regularly restart your computer, too. Relatedly, make sure machines have anti-virus software, and your network is protected by a firewall.  

Be careful what you click. You’ve undoubtedly heard about phishing before, but we wouldn’t keep talking about it if it didn’t keep working for hackers. These emails often look like they’re from legitimate companies, but they’re designed to trick you into clicking on a malicious link or opening an infected attachment. Emails aren’t the only phishing vehicles either. Fraudulent text messages (known as smishing) are on the rise, too.

Remember what we tell our clients, it’s important to stay vigilant when fighting cybercrime, wire fraud and everything that comes with it in today’s interconnected world. Protecting our transactions is a year-long mission for all of us in real estate. Thank you for being part of this fight with us. 

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