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New Web Browser Security Measures Coming in January 2021
Browser security is a big part of the next release of Chrome. It will have a major impact on websites that contains mixed content downloads, i.e., content that is downloaded from secured and unsecured sites. There are a significant number of websites that have the current warning that they are "Not Secure" even with HTTPS. Watch the video above to learn more.
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Real Estate Fraud Prevention Coalition Recognizes National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
This October, the Real Estate Fraud Prevention Coalition is leading efforts to recognize National Cyber Security Awareness Month in America. Alongside partners in federal, state and local government, the coalition will use this month to elevate public understanding of cybersecurity risks and equip consumers with tools and resources to stay safe online. This year’s theme is "Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart."
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Realtor Safety Is Serious Business All Year
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Security and Business Continuity: Learnings from the Pandemic
While the last few months have been challenging, and they have also been a learning experience for everyone. Christopher Callahan, CISO for Weichert Companies, and I had an extensive conversation on security and business continuity learnings from the pandemic. Why is this important? In the business world, Shelter-in-Place (SiP) has displaced the workforce from the safe confines of corporate offices into employees' homes. I mean, everyone! A full-fledged transformation into a virtual company. The security exposure and risks have increased significantly across all aspects of the business. Isolation of remote access to the company information is limited to the sales team and a few staff who are road warriors. Now, completion of the firm's business occurs in little islands of offices — for every employee. Chris and I discuss pandemic planning topics as part of a business continuity strategy and other security practices. We take a stab at the security risks and new processes and policies that need to be reviewed or implemented. The design of Insightful Tech is to expose people and technology to the WAV Group's audience. The intent is to provide interviews, demos, and pass on the knowledge I've gained to help people do more with technology. I do want to give Chris a big "Thank you" for participating in my first interview. I appreciate his knowledge, our long-time friendship, and for taking this journey with me. Please be patient on some of my techniques and equipment. I am figuring this out as I do these videos. Why not keep learning and trying to be better! Anyone who knows me understands incremental gain is my idealogy. I promise to be better and to help others be better too. Click the image below to watch the interview: To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Keep Your Agents Safe: 45 Videos on Smarter, Safer Selling
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 4
Over the past month, we've been showing you what to do when an agitated person visits your brokerage, MLS, or association office. Today, our series wraps up with the final steps you need to take to deescalate a tense situation. Watch the video above to learn: How to guide an agitated person to a resolution by offering them options Why it's important to stress the consequences of each option Why respect and validation are crucial—and why ultimatums never work Sample scripts for offering options and validating their choice Need to catch up on this rest of this series? Check out parts one, two, and three here.
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 3
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How to Strengthen Security in the Virtual Workplace, Part 2
Part one of this article addresses the power of people and communication as a security tool. This article discusses the nuts and bolts of technology to secure the virtual workplace -- an area of security that is a nightmare for technology leadership and keeps them from sleeping at night. There were many nights that I tossed and turned with a sick feeling of how bad actors could break through our block walls laden with a wired fence. What makes today so different? Managing security within the confines of the company wall is much easier than securing the business with a virtual workforce. There are many risks and exposed elements for the bad actors to sneak in and steal digital and privacy information from the company and its employees.
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 2
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How to Strengthen Security in the Virtual Workplace, Part 1
A pandemic brings out the worst in some people. As businesses must move staff to a virtual workplace environment, bad actors are trying to withdraw digital assets, money, and identity from people and companies. Knowledge is the only defense against these cagey exploits meant to breakdown people's security barriers. A remote workforce forces people to use home equipment and internet access to perform their jobs. This two-part series reviews two domains of high-risk cybersecurity threats.
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors
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Dealing with Squatters: How to Ask Them to Leave
So, you've calmed an agitated squatter in the home you're showing. What's the next step to take in order to show the listing without provoking a confrontation? Watch this week's episode of 'Real Answers' to find out. In the video above, you'll learn: How to safely give squatters options to leave so you can show the home What to say if they choose not to leave Why respect and appreciation for the squatter and their decision are key Why you should never issue ultimatums if you want to stay safe Sample scripts you can use throughout the interaction Next week: What happens when an angry person visits your office? Learn how to handle them peacefully.
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Dealing with Squatters: How to Calm an Agitated Person
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Dealing with Squatters: Avoiding Confrontation During a Showing
Last week, we showed you what to do when the vacant home you're showing has a squatter. If you used the techniques we discussed, the squatter may leave the property voluntarily--but what happens if they refuse? That's what we're exploring in this week's episode of "Real Answers." Watch the video above to learn: Why you should treat them like the homeowner to avoid a confrontation A sample script for starting a conversation with them What NOT to say to avoid aggravating a squatter The physical signs that hint that a squatter may escalate the situation No matter how considerate your approach, sometimes a squatter may want to confront you anyway. Tune into next week's episode for tips on talking down an agitated squatter! Next week: Are there squatters in the vacant house you're showing? Learn how to calm an agitated person.
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How to Show a Vacant Property Safely, Part 1
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Safe Selling: Easy Tricks for Navigating Stairs
We're going to bust another showing safety myth today: Despite what you may have been told, agents should NEVER let a prospect go all the way up a flight of stairs before they do. Why? Because the agent will lose sight of them, and then a predator posing as a prospect can hide around a corner in preparation for attack. So what's a better alternative? Find out in this week's Safe Selling video. Watch the clip above to learn: The ideal distance an agent should keep between theselves and a prospect when climbing stairs One trick to keep prospects in sight even when they turn a corner Why the handrail is an agent's best tool for self-protection The move agents need to make to evade an attack from above Next week: Why it's absolutely critical for agents to stay out of outbuildings during showings.
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Consumers' Corner: How the CCPA Affects Real Estate
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Safe Selling: How Taking the Literal High Ground Can Protect Your Agents
There are several subtle tricks that real estate agents can use to psychologically "turn off" a predator who's posing as a prospect. We've talked about about a few of them over the last few months--everything from maintaining control of the showing time to a phone technique that agents can use to screen prospects. This week, we're sharing a simple secret that can demonstrate to predators that this agent is not one to mess with. That secret? Taking the high ground... literally. Watch the video above to learn: How standing slightly above a prospect unconsciously signals the agent's dominance How agents can find slightly elevated surfaces to stand on when greeting prospects at a listing or public place Why this simple act works as a "buzzkill" to potentially dangerous prospects Why legitimate prospects won't be affected by this technique--so agents don't have to worry about alienating them Next week: The sales technique that turns off predators, but makes real prospects feel like a million bucks!
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Safe Selling: The 'No Influence' Sales Strategy that Deters Predators
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Safe Selling: 4 Times Real Estate Agents Should ALWAYS Have a Showing Buddy
Brokers, how often have you advised your agents to "Just take someone with you" on a showing to stay safe? While the buddy system is an effective way to stay safe, it's not always practical. Other agents aren't always available, and the last-minute nature of some showings makes recruiting a colleague challenging. So even though agents with solid safety skills can usually go to showings without accompaniment, there are still times when your agents should ALWAYS pair up with a colleague. Watch the video above to learn the four scenarios where a showing buddy is CRITICAL for safety—and make sure your agents are aware of these situations. In this video, you'll also learn: How the buddy system tips the "flight or fight" balance in the agent's favor The unexpected reason why cell phone coverage matters to agent safety Why "Uncomfortable saves your life, but scared gets you dead"
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Safe Selling: The 3 Steps Agents Should Take to Prepare a Home for a Showing
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Safe Selling: How Agents Can Use Appointment Times to Establish Control
"Always take power and control wherever you can." That's the advice from agent safety expert Lee Goldstein. In this week's "Safe Selling" video, Lee shares another way that agents can turn off potential predators--by taking control of what time they meet a prospect for a showing. It's a simple tactic. Rather than simply agreeing to meet a new prospect at the time they suggest, Lee recommends that agents tell the prospect they'd prefer to meet them at an alternative time. Because predators look for weakness and subservience in victims, this minor pushback may signal that the agent isn't an easy target, and that the agent is the one in control. Watch the video above to learn: Why this tactic turns off predators, but leaves real clients unphased Why agents should never apologize or ask if the alternate time is "okay" with a prospect Next week: The three safety-minded things agents should do to prepare a home for a showing.
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Safe Selling: New Listing? Here's Why Agents Should Meet the Neighbors
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Safe Selling: A Script (and a Trick) for Screening Prospects
We've talking a lot about red flags lately--specifically how to spot them in new prospects. This week, learn a quick trick that agents can use over the phone to uncover hints that a prospect might be dangerous. The trick is called 'The Training Play' and it can help agents gauge a prospect's hidden motives. Watch the video above to: Hear a sample script for using the Training Play on the phone Find out which vocal cues to be alert for How agents can decide if they should take another agent with them to a showing Next week: See why it's so important to learn about the neighborhood—and to share your findings in the Showing Notes.
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Safe Selling: Why Copying that Driver's License Won't Keep You Safe
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Safe Selling: How to Spot Dangerous Red Flags Over the Phone
As a broker, have your agents ever commented that they felt 'funny' when talking to a new prospect? Don't brush off their concerns--that may be their intuition warning them that a prospect is not who they seem to be. Instead, share this video on 'active listening' and the red flags that can warn agents that something is off with a prospect—before they ever meet them in person. Watch this week's 'Safe Selling' video to learn: What active listening is, and how to use it with prospects How to tell a legitimate buyer from a suspicious prospect The 'onion peeling process' of drilling down into what a prospect says and looking for inconsistencies Why inconsistencies in what a prospect tells you are a red flag And, bonus, while active listening can help you weed out shady prospects, it can also help you gain a deeper understanding of what real buyers need! Stay tuned until next week when we'll explore why meeting a new prospect in your office and copying their license is a safety myth.    
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Safe Selling: 5 Tips for Staying Safe on Social Media
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Future of Online Identity Verification
Due to rapidly developing technology and a growing threat from identity fraud, the online verification process needs to keep evolving. Most individuals are already used to security measures like entering a PIN number or signing on the (virtual) dotted line to complete a transaction. But for high-value agreements, businesses often need to verify the identity of the person doing the electronic signing or data entry. This not only makes the process more secure, but it also helps companies meet compliance and regulatory requirements.
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Safe Selling: Why Agents Should Avoid Getting Personal in Their Marketing
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Who Is Covered by CCPA and What Does It Require?
The California Consumer Privacy Act, often thought of as "California's GDPR," is prompting companies across the US to do far more than update their privacy policies. Starting January 1, 2020, new requirements will affect thousands of businesses that leverage a wide range of personal data connected to the nearly 40 million California residents, their households, and devices. While there's no singular roadmap to being "CCPA compliant" (and ongoing amendments to the CCPA text make that a moving target), there is no shortage of strategies to prepare for this new data privacy law.
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Safe Selling: How to Avoid Marketing Language That Attracts Predators
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Safe Selling: How Predators Use Agent Photos to Select Their Next Victim
Brokers, could your agents' headshots be putting them in danger? That's the issue we explore in this week's Safe Selling episode. While the internet has made it easier for consumers to find a Realtor to work with, it's also made it easier for predators to choose their next victim. But what about a headshot makes a predator more likely to target one agent over another? Turns out, it's all about power. As we know, predators target those they perceive as weak or subservient, and avoid those who come off as strong or self-assured. In this video, we explore how agents can project power in their real estate headshots and deter predators from the get-go. Watch the clip above to learn: The body language and expressions that intimidate predators The posture and facial expressions that attract predators The two types of agent headshots: professional vs. intimate Why professional photos actually earn agents more business Stay tuned for next week's episode, where we'll learn how to deter predators with strong, not subservient language.  
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Safe Selling: Buyer or a Thief? How to Tell
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Safe Selling: How to Recognize a Common Scam that Thieves Play
Predators aren't the only danger that Realtors in the field have to worry about. Sometimes, they have to worry about individuals that are a threat to the home and personal property of their sellers. That's right, we're talking about thieves. In this week's episode of Safe Selling, learn the behaviors that thieves display and how to identify them. Today's episode is focused on a scam called "The Couple's Play," where two thieves pose as husband and wife and separate during the tour while one a) distracts the Realtor while b) the other half of the couple cases or steals from the home. Brokers, share the video above with your agents so they can understand: What the role of each person in the suspicious couple is How to identify a prospect who's deliberately distracting you How a woman playing the role of distractor talks differently to male and female agents Stay tuned for next week when we'll learn more about dealing with thieves during a showing!  
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Safe Selling: The Timeline of a Crime
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Preventing Real Estate Ransomware
The real estate industry is increasingly aware of the dangers of ransomware, which have been raised due to some recent high-profile incidents. Ransomware is malware (malicious software) that encrypts the files on your network or otherwise blocks access to them. It's called ransomware because you may be prompted to pay a ransom to regain access to the files. Most security professionals advise clients to not pay the ransom because often the hacker will not unencrypt or allow access to the files as a result. The purpose of this article is to suggest some best practices for avoiding ransomware, limiting its impact, and recovering from it. No suggested best practices can prevent all incidents of ransomware – there will always be a new attack that can bypass certain types of defenses. However, there are some reasonable steps you can take to reduce the ransomware risk for your organization.
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Hefty Security Breach Fines by the U.K. Under GDPR Regulation
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The Day I Learned of a Chilling Plot to Digitally Censor My Voice
This story is unusual and somewhat disturbing. Some of you may have seen a quick glimpse of my Amazon Echo 5 article a few weeks ago. A day after it was published, there was an incident causing me to redirect the page web address (URL) to the blog page of WAVGroup.com. It was a sunny, hot, and humid morning, the windows in my office fogged with condensation. I was beaming with pride because I published an article the night before that was fun to write. The premise of my article was to explore how technology was on a path to deliver content as a multimodal experience and its relevance to NAR MLS policy.
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Fail First Approach to Cybersecurity Is Costly
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 4
Over the past month, we've been showing you what to do when an agitated person visits your brokerage, MLS, or association office. Today, our series wraps up with the final steps you need to take to deescalate a tense situation. Watch the video above to learn: How to guide an agitated person to a resolution by offering them options Why it's important to stress the consequences of each option Why respect and validation are crucial—and why ultimatums never work Sample scripts for offering options and validating their choice Need to catch up on this rest of this series? Check out parts one, two, and three here.  
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 3
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors, Part 2
When an agitated visitor comes into your office, it's better to be proactive than reactive. If you can identify an angry person before as they approach, you can prepare yourself to de-escalate the situation--and keep you and those in your office safe. How can you do that? In this week's episode of "Real Answers," we'll show you exactly what to look for. Watch the video above to learn: The physical signs of an agitated person Why you need to lead the de-escalation process, not the visitor The body language to display to better calm a person--and the physical stances to NEVER take in a tense situation Want to learn more? Check out part one of this series, where we showed you what NOT to do when an angry person visits your brokerage, association, or MLS office. Then stay tuned for a new episode next week!
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Office Safety: Dealing with Angry Visitors
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Friday Freebie: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need on Agent Safety
Your brokerage, MLS, or association can help keep agents safe by building a "culture of safety." That's according to a new guide to Realtor safety--a comprehensive 65-page ebook that includes everything from a full safety training guide, to lead assessment worksheets, free resources, and more. Want to snag your own copy? In this week's Friday Freebie, we'll show you how (no contact info required).
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A Broker's Guide to Cybersecurity: Part 3
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When Hackers Attack: The Broker's Guide to DDoS
Any company that operates online can run into cybersecurity issues--and a particularly nasty tactic that hackers sometimes use is DDoS. These attacks are a lot like hurricanes; we can predict that they'll happen, but we never actually know when they'll happen or how powerful they'll be when they do. A DDoS attack can quickly take out websites and servers of any size, even if they're properly equipped to handle it. So today, let's take a quick look at what a DDoS attack is, why they're hard to defend against, and what you can do to safeguard against them.
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GDPR and Its Effect on the US Real Estate Industry
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eXp Realty Launches Safety Check for Workplace by Facebook
eXp Realty has announced its implementation of Safety Check for Workplace by Facebook. With this tool, eXp Realty now can better confirm who is safe or might need assistance in the event of a natural disaster or crisis. Now the company's more than 18,000 agents, brokers and staff across North America can more easily connect with eXp Realty staff who can provide help and valuable resources.
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This Website Is Not Secure!
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Privacy Regulation for Everyone Coming Soon
Similar to new data security and privacy laws sweeping the European Union and California, it is only a matter of time before new laws are required throughout the United States. This week's news is the U.S. House and Senate held hearings on data security and personal privacy. The timing of the first set of hearings on Capitol Hill aligns with the fact that several other states – such as Washington, North Carolina, Oregon, and Virginia – are on a pathway to either pass new or update their security and privacy laws.
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Google Flags Websites that Are Not HTTPS as Not Secure
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4 Key Questions to Ask about Cloud Data Security
The cloud is one of those things that we all use without realizing it. As soon as you ask your browser to save a password or even a credit card number for you so you can check out of Amazon a little faster next time (not that that's a real experience or anything), you're using the cloud. We tend to assume when it comes to the most important information we have. We trust companies to make sure it's safe, and we don't ask more questions. Why not?
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Data Privacy: Everyday Best Practices to Remember
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How the FBI Foiled a Wire Transfer Scam
Wire transfer scams continue to plague the real estate industry, but brokers are deploying countermeasures and collaborating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to catch these criminals. WAV Group was provided with an insider's overview of a recent victory by the FBI to shut down a huge ring of scammers. The story was amazing. The first thing that you should know is that a lot of these crime rings are operating out of Ghana, Nigeria, and other African nations.
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How to Connect to a Computer Remotely
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Safe Selling: Understanding How a Predator Thinks
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! What do alcoholics and predators that prey on real estate agents have in common? Find out in this week's Realtor safety video. Last week, we learned the differences between predators and thieves and why predators are the ones that target real estate agents for violent crimes. Today, we're taking a deep dive into the mind of the predator to learn how they think. Why? Because understanding their behavior allows us to prevent them from committing crimes. In the video above, Lee Goldstein, founder of Real Safe Agent, talks about the "offender cycle" -- a psychological pattern that both predators and substance abusers share. Watch the video to learn: How negative feelings of self-worth trigger the offender cycle How predators progress from deviant thoughts to a deviant fantasy life The point of no return when a predator decides to commit a crime Tune in next week for our next installment of Safe Selling!
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Safe Selling: Predators vs. Thieves
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Showing Safety: Where to Stand During a Home Tour, Part 2
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! How can agents stay safe during a showing? Over the past three weeks, we've been breaking down proactive measures agents can take to ensure their safety--both before and during a showing. This week, our video series wraps up with a demonstration on where to stand during a home tour. Last week, you learned where to stand in the entryway and kitchen. In today's video, find out how to safely position yourself in the rest of the house. Watch this video to learn: Where to stand in the living room during a showing Where to stand when prospects are touring rooms down a hallway What to do when the garage is your exit point What to do when a sliding glass door is your exit point How to make sure you can exit from the backyard More articles in this series Realtor Safety: Preparing a Home for a Showing Showing Safety: Where to Stand During a Home Tour    
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Clearing the Air: Cloud Security for Real Estate Brokerages
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Showing Safety: Where to Stand During a Home Tour
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! If you tuned in last week, you know just how to prepare a home in order to stay safe during a showing. But there's still one last thing you need to do before your prospects arrive... It's called "blocking," or planning where you're going to stand during a home tour. The objective is to be aware of the home's layout and position yourself in a way that doesn't make you vulnerable to potential predators. This means keeping in mind line of sight, your visibility to the outside, and access and exit points. In this week's agent safety video, you'll learn: Where to guide your prospects first How to identify possible 'choke points' How to use home features, like countertops, to distance and protect you And how to pull it all off while still seeming warm and welcoming! Stay tuned until next week when we'll talk more about staying safe during showings!
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Phishing in Real Estate and Recruiting Experience
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Realtor Safety: Preparing a Home for a Showing
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! In a recent edition of our agent safety video series, we learned how those who attack Realtors are different from the average criminal--they're outright predators who plan their attacks. In today's video, we'll learn how to set up a home for a showing in a way that deters those with a predatory mindset. This is the first in a miniseries of three videos on making a home safe for a showing. Watch the video above to learn the very first things you should do when you arrive at a property--and before your prospect shows up. You'll find out how to ensure that neighbors and passersby can see and hear you should anything go wrong. Stay tuned for next week when we'll reveal more tips for showing a home safely!    
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Realtor Safety: Navigating Stairs without Making Yourself Vulnerable to Attack
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Who's Attacking Real Estate Agents?
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! Can real estate agents get attacked in affluent, low crime areas? That's the question Lee Goldstein tackles in this week's Realtor safety video. The short answer: yes, absolutely. Violence against Realtors isn't a crime of opportunity--it's premeditated and planned out by predators. In this short video, you'll learn: How crime against agents differs from ordinary street crime Why the affluence of the area you serve doesn't matter The average profile of predators who target real estate agents--it may not be who you think! Stay tuned 'til next week for more tips and tricks on staying safe in the field!
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Realtor Safety: Opening a Lockbox and Door
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Three Stories for You to Read: Amazon, Cybersecurity, App Dev
In the event of Inman Connect this week, these were three stories I found which piqued my interest this last week. Will Amazon Uber-ize the Real Estate Industry? Cisco and Juniper Networks stocks slipped last Friday on news from The Information that Amazon was entering the $14 billion data center equipment business. While searching for more news, I stumbled upon investment firm TwinRock Partners' article about Amazon and real estate.
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Essential Tips for Protecting Client Data
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A Broker's Guide to Cybersecurity: Part 2
For part one of this series, click here. Now that we've acknowledged that yes, your brokerage is a potential target for hackers, let's start with setting some ground rules for cybersecurity. While these rules aren't very sexy, they are absolutely essential to protecting your brokerage. Establish an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) First, each employee and agent using your network should be subject to signing an acceptable use policy (AUP).
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GDPR Playing Havoc in the EU
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A Brokers Guide to Cybersecurity
As a real estate broker, you want to provide your customers, staff, and agents with access to the Internet and information in a way that is easy, quick, and timely. However, with that service comes the responsibility of making sure it is secure. Not many months go by where we don't hear about a cybersecurity breach (e.g., Home Depot, Target, Equifax, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.). While these breaches cost companies millions of dollars, the loss of customer confidence is more expensive still. Your brokerage is a target, no matter the size.
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How Europe's New Personal Data Rule Impacts Real Estate
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10 Questions to Ask Your Tech Vendor About Your Data
You've most likely heard about the recent news in the industry calling to question the safety of your personal contacts, sphere, leads or other data that belongs to your real estate business. The security and integrity of your personal sphere and its corresponding data in many ways is the core of your business and repeat business. Many tech platforms expect you to freely hand over your private sphere data in order to use their solutions. And there lies the question: How safe is your data when you hand it over?
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WAV Group Systems Audits and Integration
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All Computers and Servers at Risk from Spectre and Meltdown
Every computer device – server, laptop, desktop, every router, every wireless router, every network printer, every network fax machine, and every phone is impacted. Don't freak out. Being impacted and being attacked are two different things. We are going to explain what is happening in layman's terms and help you get through it. Right before Christmas, researchers discovered that there is a security vulnerability (like an open door) that exposes computers built after 1995 to risk. Google found it (nod in reverence to Jann Horn of Google who was a key researcher who found both vulnerabilities – Meltdown and Spectre. If you want to geek out, visit this website). Basically, all of your usernames and passwords go through your chipset without encryption. This means that the door is open, not that you are infected with a virus. If you want to super geek out, look at Jann Horn's blog. Here is the layman's understanding of the issue. Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about Intel processors. Intel is a brand, and all brands of processors are open to attack. Processors are the electronic pieces of hardware that do all of the work on all computer devices. This is not a vulnerability that is limited to Intel processors, however. It impacts all multi-core processors. If you know what a kernel is, that is what is open to attack. Basically, every chipset in every electronic device after 1995 is at risk. Again, it is not a virus, it's a flaw and there is a risk that the hardware can be attacked. Everyone, everywhere is at risk and it will impact every device you use and every cloud service you use. Your anti-virus software will not prevent this attack – in fact, it may block the software patch from being installed properly. Read what your anti-virus vendor tells you.
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Can Blockchain Restore Trust in Real Estate Transactions?
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Why You Should Use HTTPS for a Safe and Secure Site
Do you have HTTPS or SSL enabled on your real estate website? By implementing HTTPS, you can further protect the integrity of your site, as well as data you are collecting. With HTTPS enabled, you will gain an immeasurable advantage over your competitors by instilling trust in potential leads. First things first: What is SSL? SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) creates an encrypted connection between your web server and your visitors' web browser. This allows for sensitive information (such as passwords or email addresses) to be transmitted without being hacked, tampered with or intercepted. If someone were to capture the data being transferred via HTTPS, it would be unrecognizable. Why do you need it? Perhaps most importantly, Google Chrome displays a 'Not secure' warning for all HTTP pages. By enabling SSL, you'll proactively prevent pop-up warnings and increase the amount of time users spend on your site, resulting in more lead capture opportunities. Not to mention, since security is a top priority for Google, HTTPS enabled sites are automatically given a minor ranking boost! Why should you want it? Google isn't the only one who cares about your website's security; so do prospective clients! According to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, home seekers rated honesty and trustworthiness as the most important factors when choosing an agent. Well, since 44 percent of home searches start online, this sense of security begins with your real estate website. To sum up, the benefits of HTTPS/SSL compatibility include: Gaining an unparalleled advantage over competing real estate websites by providing visitors with peace of mind. Ensuring you remain at the leading edge of SEO functionality and Google's Chrome browser updates with SSL functionality. Keeping visitors coming to your real estate site is important, and they are more likely to leave if they encounter any roadblocks or feel their security is at risk. Enabling HTTPS or SSL ensures your leads feel safe and secure, while enhancing the credibility of your real estate site. Your visitors will love knowing you take their security seriously! To view the original article, visit the IDX Broker blog.
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Can You Get Protection Against Cyber Fraud?
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Stay Safe When You Use Drone Photography and Honor Others' Privacy
As drones become ever more popular in the business and home entertainment sectors, privacy concerns abound – and incensed Americans are taking offensive action. With some states allowing private citizens to shoot at drones, safety and the protection of privacy and property are becoming an increasingly important facet with drone video usage in real estate marketing. How can you protect yourself?
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Phishing: Preventing the Bait and Hook in the Pond of Security for Brokers
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Which Brokerage Intranet Solution is Right for You? (Part 2)
Yesterday, we took a look at the first of two intranet solutions for brokerages. Today, we're highlighting WOLFconnect, an intranet and "front office" platform from our 2017-18 Technology Guide. What is WOLFconnect? WOLFconnect is part of Lone Wolf's Complete Enterprise Solution, a full service brokerage platform that includes back office, accounting, website management, transaction management, and more. While WOLFconnect can stand alone, it is arguably more powerful when connected to the rest of the suite. WOLFconnect itself is a modular solution that offers five different modules that brokerages can purchase as suits their needs:
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Which Brokerage Intranet Solution is Right for You? (Part 1)
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Zillow Protects Broker Data
WAV Group supports brokers and MLSs in constructing data licensing agreements with users of data records that belong to the broker. When a company like Zillow ingests broker data, like all recipients, they must adhere to the data license agreement, which typically requires that you cannot allow the data to be used by a third party. The blog McMansionHell.com is learning the hard way that using data from Zillow without proper authority is a copyright violation that Zillow will pursue. Not only will Zillow pursue the violation, but they are contractually bound to pursue the violation. The media around the case is a bit confused, so let me try to break it down in layman's terms.
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Home Office Security: What Every Business Owner Should Know
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The IRS Warns Against These Tax Scams
It's tax season and that means tracking down all your forms, maximizing your write-offs with things like the mileage deduction and potentially getting a refund. The scammers are also out in force this time of year. Here are some common tax scams the IRS has rounded up and some tips on how to avoid them. Phone Call Scams There are thousands of scammers who try to trick people over the phone every year. This often involves somebody claiming you owe taxes or penalties and if you don't pay quickly, you'll be faced with punitive measures—including jail. What's insidious about this is that the scammers can have legitimate information about you including your name, address or Social Security number. The IRS will never: Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe Require a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official IRS notice Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
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REALTOR® Safety Webinar: Get Smart about Smart Homes and Your Safety (9/14)
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[Video] It's Your Business, It's Your Data!
Do you know how, where, and when your transaction data is being used? Brokers are overwhelmingly turning to cloud solutions to manage and complete transactions, and the handling of that transaction data is a top concern. As the facilitators of the real estate transaction, brokers are responsible for the care of sensitive client information. Are your technology vendors transparent about how and where they store your business data once it has been entered into their system? If you're not sure, watch the video below. It's a recording of a live webinar we hosted earlier today on how to evaluate technology vendors for data security. We were joined by special guests Glenn Shimkus and Georg Gerstenfeld of DocuSign, a global leader in the push for standards in digital transaction management. Brokers from across the nation tuned in to the webinar to learn key considerations and questions to ask technology providers. If you were unable to join us, don't worry. You can watch the full recording below:
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Groundbreaking Agent Safety Class and Study Announced
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Cyber Security: How Brokerages Can Protect Themselves
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and today we're looking at how brokers can better protect sensitive client data. Digital security is increasingly complex goal to achieve. Every advance in technology brings new risks alongside the benefits. Wi-Fi untethered us from our desks and ethernet cables, but also made our devices vulnerable. The Internet opened up a new world of marketing, including on social media, but gave criminals an easy way to target their next victim. And let's not forget the rapidly evolving "Internet of Things" where wearable devices, appliances, cars, smart home technology and more are able to connect and "talk" to each other. No wonder cyber security is so complicated! That said, there are steps brokers can take to ensure their firm is as safe as possible. Obviously, this includes things like securely storing digital documents and carefully evaluating software and other tech tools that handle client data (see more tips here). However, much of the security burden falls on agents' shoulders and the measures they take when they're away from the confines of your secure office. Below is a list of digital security tips you can share with your agents and staff to keep them (and their devices) as safe as possible: 1. Know how to identify a tampered document - While many brokers provide their agents with e-signature and transaction management solutions, some do not. Unfortunately those agents who "go it alone" don't always choose secure solutions that protect documents from tampering. That can jeopardize the legality of an entire transaction! To learn how to protect yourself, your client, and the sale, see Can You Trust That eSignature? How to Spot a Tampered Document.
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10 Mobile Security Questions Brokers Should Be Asking
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Sex Offender Poses as a Fake Buyer in This Bizarre Home Showing
Are you sure that your prospective buyers are on a legitimate search for homes? A North Texas Realtor recently had a frightening encounter with a would-be buyer that serves as a reminder to exercise caution during any in-person home showings. Last August, Colleyville Realtor Ty Williams received a call from Tommie Marvin Hawkins Jr., who claimed to be in the market for a home in the $2 million range. Hawkins asked Williams to meet him near the condo where he was purportedly staying and also insisted on driving, so the two departed in his car. At first, Williams did not sense any problems. He said that Hawkins "asked all the right questions" and seemed to be on the up-and-up. However, as the two viewed the final house, Hawkins asked Williams, "Which of these homes would you leave your wife for me for?" While the two laughed it off, Williams says he began to feel uncomfortable but ultimately wrote it off as a bit of eccentricity. The situation became even more disturbing on the second day of viewings when Hawkins parked his car and began a rambling monologue during which he made sexual overtures to Williams.  
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Data Security is the Law
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9 Ways to Keep Data Secure
Cybercrimes happen every day and they can devastate people's lives and livelihoods. With all the personal information real estate companies collect, a breach in security could cost a brokerage business and tarnish its reputation. "Having the right tools to protect yourself and your clients is crucial in this war against hackers," says Denise Mainquist, founder of the information technology company ITPAC Consulting in Lincoln, Neb. One of the first things brokers need to know, she says, is that hackers aren't random; they relentlessly search the online world to find their next victim. They look for the most vulnerable systems, and then they attack with phishing, malware, ransomware, and other scams. "A real estate agency is a perfect example of an environment that is susceptible to hackers ... especially the high-end residential sales firms," says Brad Deflin, founder of Total Digital Security in Palm Beach, Fla. Sometimes personal information related to transactions is sent or viewed on sales agents' personal (nonbrokerage) smartphones and computers. The information can be anything from banking and tax information to legal documents, itineraries, and leases. Deflin says it's difficult to fully eliminate all risk of a cyber attack. However, it's possible to substantially reduce your risks without too much expense or change in user behavior. Here are some ideas for what brokers can do now to protect themselves and their agents from being hacked.
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Groundbreaking Real Estate Agent Safety Study Announced
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4 Cyber Scams Targeting Brokerages
You never know who is peeking into your files these days. Cybercrime has become a huge threat, with a growing number of scams affecting real estate agencies virtually every day. "There's a new level of sophistication going on out there in cyber threats," says Jessica Edgerton, associate counsel at the National Association of REALTORS®. "There is a lot of money changing hands in real estate, and that's why it's worth it to these folks to come after real estate professionals." A 2014 Forrester Research study shows that people who purchased a home within the past 12 months are 2.8 times more likely to be a victim of identity theft. In fact, in December 2012, two people were imprisoned for running a massive identity theft ring in San Diego, and police believe most of the information they used came from real estate files. As time goes on, scams continue to become more sophisticated. But which ones are the biggest threats real estate agencies, and what should you do if you are hacked? 1. Wire Fraudsters: The Georgia Association of REALTORS® warned its members early last year not to e-mail money wiring instruction to clients. Hackers had been mimicking their e-mails and sending similar ones to clients with the intention of diverting funds to fraudulent accounts. Ned Blumenthal with Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, a law firm in Atlanta, has dealt with at least three dozen wiring scams committed against real estate agents and their clients in the past year. One particular case involved a couple that fell victim to the wire fraud when selling their home.
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Stay Ahead of Hackers
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A Tech's Tale of a Real Life Schemer: The Fake Microsoft Scam Running Amok on Us All
ROFL, that was fun. A scammer called me. I scrambled to open my Windows 10 VMware to let him do his thing. First he told me he was from Microsoft and that my computer was reporting to MS that I had errors. I said Oh, no! What can we do!? He said he could show me and then help me fix it. First, to prove he knew it was my computer, he had me open a command window and list file associations and claimed the following was a unique identifier for my computer: zfsendtotarget=clsid 888dca60-fc0a-11cf-8f0f-00c04fd7d062 (More info on that here. It's just the entry for right click send to zip file.) Then he had me open MSInfo. Look at all the errors! He claimed those were the messages Microsoft was getting. Oh, no, what do we do?!
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2015 Data Storage: Your Security Role
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Online, Safety Is Your 'Social Responsibility'
Guest contributor John Graden of REALTOR®Mag says: Social media has changed the landscape for everyone. For you, it's made it easier to target clients. And for criminals, it's made it easier to target you. Any bad guy you would potentially deal with before, during, and after a showing is playing a role. He's pretending to be someone you, the victim, can trust. From the time he first contacts you, he will stay in character until he either executes his plan or bails out. Pulling off that charade is a whole lot easier with free and easy tools online that he can use to create an identity and follow your trail. On Facebook and other social media platforms, a criminal may be able to find out what college you attended, what sports teams you like, how many kids you have, and where you like to vacation. He can even see highly detailed images of where you work, live, and the place where he is going to meet you for a showing. A criminal's ability to "pull off his role" is magnified because it's much easier to create rapport with target audiences online than ever before. As convenient as the cyber world has made doing business for the good guys, it's made it a whole lot easier for bad guys, too. Remember that online communities are comprised of three groups of users: the safest third, the not-so-safe middle third, and the highly dangerous bottom third. When it comes to the highly dangerous bottom third, some are transparent in their aggressive hostility and easy to see and avoid. However, it's the more cunning psychopath that is more difficult to recognize because he is an expert at playing the good guy and gaining favor.
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Your Guide to Warding Off Cybercriminals: 7 Top Tips To Keep Your Data Safe Right Now
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Turn Your iPod, iPhone, or iPad into a Security Camera with the "Presence" App
The application "Presence" turns iOS devices into a video surveillance system with smart home energy control and more. See what's happening in your home or listed property live from anywhere when you're gone. If motion is detected, you will know within seconds. iPad2, iPhone 3GS, and 4th Generation iPod or newer are required. The app is currently ONLY available on iOS. Free Version The Presence App offers: FREE App download 50MB cloud storage Basic functionality (average day of basic monitoring is about 4MB) Paid Version The Presence PRO App offers: 2GB cloud storage Faster camera resets Customizable notifications (COST: $4.99/mo or $49.99/year)
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