With the ever-growing presence of cyber scams across websites, social media, and email accounts, knowing who you are engaging with on the other side of a screen is more important than ever. Recent cases of cyber scam attempts have shown an increase in those directed at the real estate industry with the intent of defrauding home buyers, sellers, and title companies. Unfortunately, most agents are completely unaware of this as it occurs.
Why Should Real Estate Professionals Be Concerned?
Those sending fraudulent emails inquire about wire transfers, seller proceeds, or other financial information. Senders are hoping to compromise those who fall for requests of this information. This could lead to funds being wired to incorrect accounts, complete loss of funds, or stolen personal and financial information.
Reports of wire fraud scams have originated all over the country of various amounts, over the past several years. Agent email accounts that contain information about property addresses, personal information, or closing documents. To protect buyers and sellers, real estate agents must protect their inboxes more so now than ever. Two-factor authentication is the next level of security to protect your vulnerable information.
What Is Two-Factor Authentication?
Almost exactly like it sounds, two-factor authentication is an added level of security for users on the internet. A perfect example of this is Google’s two-step authentication. As Google allows for login across multiple devices, two-step authentication is required for logins used on each new device. If the device isn’t recognized as one typically used, Google will send a text message to the phone on your account with a verification code. From this, even if the username and password are compromised the account will not be accessed without the mobile device associated with it. This protects sensitive information with one quick additional step.
Additionally, a secondary code can be required for login on certain occasion. Users must have knowledge of their username, password, and secondary authentication. This deflects login attempts from users other than yourself by linking accounts to a secondary device or requiring a unique additional code.
When Should I Start?
Two-factor authentication should be incorporated in your real estate business across all accounts. More and more accounts are being cyber-attacked daily. Now is the time to use either method, additional codes or linkage of mobile devices, to protect your vulnerable information.
Equity Title encourages you to protect your buyer or seller information just as we do. Our commitment is to you – continue to use us as your real estate resource for more industry-related information, closing materials, and business development. Contact us today and discover the “Equity Title Experience!”