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Tuesday, September 3, 2013  
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Orlando REALTOR® | SeptemberOctober 2013

Protecting the technology that powers your productivity is a low-risk, high-reward investment

By Tracy Hawkins

REALTORS® love technology. In honor of September as REALTOR® Safety Month, let’s look at some of the many options available for keeping your technology investments safe.

1. The number one way to keep your technology and online accounts hack-proof (and all of your client information and e-mails secure) is to require a password for use. Just don’t use easy-to-figure out passwords such as 1-2-3-4 or your kids’ names.

2. Install a tracking device on all valuables, including your smartphone. Key features to look for in a good tracking device include:

  • Remote storage and/or secure cloud storage options.
  • Encryption feature with a permanent delete (quarantine) option.
  • Anti-theft feature that remotely locks or wipes data from a missing/stolen device and tracks the device via GPS, Wi-Fi, and phone signal. A bonus is the capability to remotely take pictures through the device’s camera to catch any thieves in the act of using the device.
  • Real-time Internet threat protection that blocks dangerous text and e-mail links and keeps you safe online while uploading a new listing to your property website.
  • A private cell number with a local area code but that does not link to your cell number.

3. Install the same anti-virus software and protections as you would on your home or office PC on your phone.

4. Store documents on a safe cloud platform to keep information on laptops safer. Cloud platforms often offer transaction and form management features in addition to electronic storage.

5. Invest in an encryption product for your laptop hard drive. If it’s lost or stolen, the thief can’t gain access to your confidential data or your clients’ data.

6. Invest in an electronic leash. These leashes signal when you wander a preset distance from your phone or laptop, and many leashes are small enough to fit in a wallet or on a keychain.

 Tracy Hawkins is a former real estate agent and has been teaching agent safety for more than 18 years. This article is adapted from the National Association of REALTORS® 2013 REALTOR® Safety article series.


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