Being Technologically Savvy & Safe

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Technology plays a considerable role in the real estate business, and thus understanding how to reduce your online vulnerability risks is crucial. Let’s look at some of the most important guidelines to keep in mind.

 
All Data Should Be Backed Up
Data can be lost for a number of reasons. In some cases, a computer may be infected with a virus or malware that causes a problem. Computers also may crash due to faulty hard drives or even due to a power outage. In such cases, there is always the possibility that important information will be lost.

Being critically reliant upon records and documents, real estate professionals should always make sure that everything is backed up. There are several options for this. Backing up data to an additional external drive provides you a copy of everything in case of a computer crash. There are also off site possibilities, such as backup services that charge a monthly or annual fee for storing data.

Install the Latest Protective Software
Every computer, whether it operates using a Windows or Mac operating system is vulnerable to attacks. That’s why it’s critical to not only use the latest antivirus and other protective software, but keep them updated regulalrly. While no software is 100% effective, it can at least protect systems from the majority of viruses and malware. It’s also important to make use of firewalls and to ensure that they are working properly as these can be a computer’s primary defense against attacks.

Keep Computers and Other Devices Secure
The more people who have access to a machine, the more likely it is that security will be breached. Individuals should minimize access to devices and not share passwords. Computers and other devices should never be left unattended with sensitive information on display. It’s best to log off when leaving the room.

Passwords should be chosen to maximize security. Using easy to guess passwords makes it easy for someone to access the system. The best passwords contain a mixture of letters, numbers and characters with both upper and lower case letters.

Email Security Tips
Email is one of the primary ways that spammers, hackers and scammers gain access to computers and personal information.  A good starting point for using email securely is to use a trustworthy email service that has a good spam filter.

One of the most dangerous types of email scams involves phishing, where a legitimate looking link leads to a malevolent site where personal information can be stolen. Never follow links in emails that are suspicious in any way. If there is any doubt, it’s easy enough to log onto the site in question independently and not from the link provided in the email. Another email tip to keep in mind is to never download files that are from unknown or suspicious looking senders.

These guidelines can help real estate agents grow their business while keeping safety in mind.

 

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