Most folks aren’t very worried about Cyber Crime . . .
This is worrisome two-fold!
First, I’m worried about what these criminals might do that could TOTALLY wreak havoc on our personal and professional lives.
Second, I’m worried that you’re not worried because when you are vulnerable, everyone with whom you interact digitally is inherently vulnerable.
This is that “A Chain is As Strong As The Weakest Link” thing – writ LARGE!
I recently attended a class about cyber crime. The quote that struck me to the core was:
“Real Estate Agents are walking lawsuits!”
Of course when it comes right down to it, MOST people are walking disasters in terms of cyber-security.
This is one of those things we easily dismiss as “That won’t happen to me!” until it DOES happen . . . at which point, we’re standing there talking about wouldas and couldas done all of these simple preventative things . . . Like:
install strong antivirus protection on ALL of our devices . . .
Moving our Internet interfaces into VPN encrypted secure environments . . .
Adopting safe email practices by NOT opening unexpected attachments and NOT emailing sensitive information . . .
Of course, there are many other safety measures that can be done . . . What I mention here should be MANDATES!
Here’s the rub for professionals (Listen REALTORS)!
If you are representing a fiduciary (a client), and a cyber criminal exploits YOUR digital vulnerability at the expense of your client, you will likely be held responsible (by the courts) for the loss.
Here’s the thing! These cyber criminals are just like most criminals . . . They prey on the weak.
Their goal is to stay on the path of least resistance as they do their work.
They are literally, INTENTIONALLY selecting a specific person and/or transaction to target and are inserting themselves into the digital pathway (Email chain).
Unobstructed, they can replicate the look of emails and unwittingly have your client wire ALL of their life savings to an off-shore account ne’er to be seen or recovered again.
If you’ve even a moderate level of protection, that creates resistance for the criminals . . . They’ll likely abandon their pursuit on you and shift their efforts to an easier, less well protected person.
Just as a House robber is far less likely to break into a house that has barking dogs . . . They’ll choose your next door neighbor who has cats and no alarm system.
I’d venture to say that you could likely spend less than $100/yr on sufficient digital protection to discourage most would-be attackers.
I use AVG
There are myriad other options.
Don’t put this on your list to do later . . . DO IT NOW!
Protect yourself so you can protect your clients.
In the event you DO get compromised and become a victim, here’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crimes website for filing a report. http://IC3.gov