Keep your estate agency safe from hackers

| Technology

Keep your estate agency safe from hackers

Over the last few years you have likely heard a lot about cyber-attacks, after major companies like Sony, Xbox and PlayStation have all suffered at the hands of hackers.

It has probably made you wonder how companies like that have been successfully hacked despite their teams of experts and massive budgets to ensure things like that don’t happen.

How hackers hack

Movies have led many to believe that hackers need to crack codes, break into servers and all other extreme things to break into your systems, however most cyber-attacks, 91% of them in fact, start with an email.

Research shows that the biggest vulnerability of a company is simply uneducated employees. Company emails are easy to find and easy to guess, making it a simple task for hackers to email employees to find the information they need.

How to stay safe

As your employees can be a major chink in your armour, it should be your responsibility to ensure your employees do not put your company at risk.

Companies such as Twitter have even gone so far to try and trick their employees with fake emails to see if they fall for common scams and help to educate them about online safety.

But what else can you do to ensure your employees are keeping your business safe? Here are 6 tips to make your business safer online:

1. Create strong passwords

Create passwords that are at least 12 characters long including numbers, capital letters and symbols. Make sure you avoid obvious patterns like ‘123456789’ or ‘qwerty’.

2. Keep it fresh

It may sound obvious but make sure you don’t share your password with anyone. Also ensure you change your password on a regular basis. We’d suggest every 90 days. And don’t use the same security questions over multiple websites.

3. Be wary

Always scan your computer for viruses. Don’t trust any unfamiliar emails, attachments or respond to emails requesting personal or company information.  

4. Have a plan of action

Train your employees and have a simple plan for employees to follow if there is any kind of potential risk. The sooner the potential security risk is handled the better.

5. Keep all devices secure

All devices should have some form of encryption to them. Encourage all employees to keep their devices safe, whether it their PC, mobile, tablet or USB drive. All software should be kept up-to-date such as Java and Flash as old software has holes in them and are common malware infection routes.

6. Monitor who has access

Make sure you know who has access to what. This could be to social accounts, CMS or emails. If roles change, people leave or new people are employed, ensure only those employees that need access have it. 

Luke Stanley