REA Group has released a security guide to help protect Australia’s real estate industry from cybercrime and offered five helpful tips for those operating a realty portal.
With more businesses moving to a digital model, data, software and personal information is increasingly becoming exposed to online hackers.
The Small business security guide for online real estate agents aims to educate real estate agents about the risks they face when operating online, and provides information on how to protect their business from a number of common security threats.
An industry-first, the guide has been re-produced in collaboration with the Australian Government’s ‘Stay Smart Online’ initiative.
Craig Templeton, REA Group’s Chief Information Security Officer, says the information in the guide will help protect users from fraudulent behaviour.
“Cyber-crime has no boundaries on the internet. We’re operating in the same online environment as our customers, so the risks that affect us can also affect them,” he says.
“We want to help educate our customers about some of the risks they face online, and provide them with some simple actions they can take to protect their business today. By putting the right processes in place to protect ourselves and our customers from cyber-crime, we’re also protecting the wider real estate industry.”
Templeton says there are five key ways real estate agents can protect themselves and their business:
1. Create good passphrases for all online accounts and enable two-step verification (when available) for additional protection.
2. Train your staff to understand the importance of privacy and teach them how to spot suspicious emails.
3. Make sure your website has a padlock symbol in your browser address bar and ‘https’ at the start of the website address.
4. Keep your software up to date and back up your data to a separate location.
5. Protect mobile devices with pins and avoid conducting sensitive activities on public Wi-Fi hotspots.
REA Group’s Small Business Security Guide for Australian Real Estate Agents is now available for download.