The importance of cybersecurity in today’s real estate industry

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

At John L. Scott, our top priority is the well-being of our brokers, staff and clients, and a major part of that is enabling cybersecurity across our network. Cyber attackers are relentless, and our John L Scott email system alone protects against as many as 100,000 spam attacks and 5,000 to 8,000 malware / phishing attacks per day.

Awareness and education are key in thwarting hackers and preventing wire fraud. In many cases, a phishing email will direct a user to a website to request an action like changing a password or updating other sensitive information. While our system prevents many phishing attempts from reaching your inboxes, no system is 100% foolproof from phishing attempts. We recommend keeping these tips in mind to protect yourself and your clients:

  • No legitimate company will ever request sensitive data from you over the internet or send you to a website to provide such data.
  • Never share any financial transaction details through email (banking information, social security numbers, password, wiring instructions).
  • Share wire fraud alert handout with all buyers, emphasizing how important it is to verify wiring instructions by phone. Tell clients to never trust payment instructions via email.
  • Passwords across all accounts must be complex, different and never shared with others!
  • Always verify the senders email address and do not open email attachments that end with: .exe,. scr, .bat, .com, or other files you do not recognize.
  • Use the JLS email account for business use; your personal email does not have the same security prevention against spam, phishing and malware attacks.
  • Do not interact (respond, forward) with suspicious emails in any way.

Ready to put your knowledge to the test? Take Google’s phishing quiz.