1. Which is a better way to safeguard your accounts—a password or passphrase?
Answer: Passphrase. Password breaches are a common way for hackers to gain access to accounts. Consider using a passphrase instead—a sentence or a random combination of words. Passphrases are generally longer and more complex, making them more difficult for hackers to crack. If you suspect identity theft, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov, which offers recovery plan help.
2. Over what medium does a “smishing” attack occur?
B. Text message
Answer: B. “Smishing” has become a growing way for hackers to try to steal your data—or money—through a text message. The text message attempts to dupe you into following a link and revealing your personal details or login information. Learn more about “smishing” here.
3. True or false: You could be held liable if your client falls victim to a wire fraud scam.
Answer: True. Real estate pros are finding themselves at the center of lawsuits charging they failed to warn clients about the dangers. In a 2018 case (Bain v. Platinum Realty LLC), a Kansas court found a real estate agent and her brokerage liable after fraudulent wire instructions, purportedly sent by the agent but actually from a scammer, were sent to the buyers. The buyers lost their $196,622 down payment. The agent was held liable, despite denying sending the email. Learn more about the risks by reading this article.
4. What approach should you use to help safeguard your data from a ransomware attack?
A. 3-2-1 approach
B. Physical hard-drive backup
C. Cloud storage
Answer: A. This recommended method says that you should have three copies of your data: the original and two copies, on different media, one copy of which is offsite. This will help you quickly restore operations and be less vulnerable to ransom demands by cyber criminals. Learn more from NAR’s Oct. 20, 2021, “Window to the Law” video.
5. What should you never share with your clients over email?
A. Any details about closing
B. Wiring instructions
C. Financial information
D. All of the above
Answer: D. Remind your clients that you will never send changes to wiring instructions or payment information over email. Also, never exchange any details about closing or other milestone dates. Tell your clients to do the same. NAR is part of the Real Estate Fraud Prevention Coalition, which offers resources to help consumers learn how to better protect their data and sensitive information. Download a document to share with your clients at nar.realtor/protect-your-money. More info: stopwirefraud.org.
How Did You Do?
Five correct answers. Phishers and smishers, beware! You’re going after the wrong person.
Three to four. Bone up on how to protect yourself. NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program (nar.realtor/safety) provides cybersecurity resources to help members protect their sensitive data, client contact information, networks, and systems against any type of cyberattack.
Fewer than three. Read the REALTOR® Safety Program cybersecurity resources, and look into Securus ID, a REALTOR Benefits® Program partner that offers a free dark web scan report and full-service identity theft protection.