REALTORS® can better protect their businesses and their clients’ confidential information by using safeguards like the 10 suggested by Illinois REALTORS® during the National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign.

Illinois REALTORS® Vice President of Information Technology Matt Brewer and Systems Administrator Michael Tankersly suggest:

  1. Freeze your credit until a reputable company requires a credit check.
  2. Use a password manager and the “generate password” feature to make sure you have a strong password.
  3. Use Firefox Monitor to learn ways to protect your online accounts, get notifications about known security breaches and to find out if your email address has been part of past security breaches.
  4. Never open unexpected emails that have general terms and are indirectly associated to you.
  5. Use secure connections to websites and avoid free Wi-Fi hot spots whenever possible.
  6. If you use free Wi-Fi hot spots, do not try to access bank accounts or use websites that require you to provide personal information.
  7. Always install and maintain antivirus and anti-malware software.
  8. Do not respond to email requests for confidential information such as login credentials, PIN numbers, Social Security Numbers or credit card numbers. Call the company in question instead.
  9. Use the web filtering service “OpenDNS” to improve security. It can assist if you type an incorrect web address and go to a compromised site.
  10. Use multifactor authentication to login to websites. Multifactor authentication uses your login name and password to start the process, then sends a code to another device – such as a mobile phone – to help you complete the authentication process on the original device.

Get more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the resources available.