“Real estate agents are urged to show extra vigilance when it comes to their social media profiles” says Bespoke Media Founder, Nic Fren, who claims the firm is getting more calls for assistance than ever before. It’s gone from one or two calls per week to around 5-10 per day, he says, citing the latest Shein gift cards to be the latest nuisance. “This one is annoying,” he says, but warns more cyber attacks are on the way, as these scammers get smarter. Over the past 12 months, the real estate industry in particular has been targeted by cyberattacks & scams & many agents or companies are running the risk of having their accounts hacked and/or lost forever, if their accounts aren’t fully protected. “Sadly, for the majority of cases I’m seeing, they are from those who don’t understand social media, and have simply been assigned the tasks to post and boost.” “This is where I fear many more will continue to fall victim,” says Mr Fren. “As specialists in this area we aren’t here to take anyone's jobs, or step on anyone's toes, we are here to provide the support and guidance to make sure things like this don’t happen in the first place. Sadly, 9 times out of ten once they get to us, there’s very little we can do.”
So, what can an agent do right now to protect their accounts?
Enable two-factor authentication: Enabling two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to an agent's social media account by requiring a unique code to be entered alongside the login credentials. This code is usually sent to the agent's mobile device, making it harder for hackers to access their account.
Temporarily make profiles private: Making social media profiles private temporarily means that only followers who have been approved by the agent can view their content. This helps to prevent bots and other unauthorised users from accessing and potentially compromising the agent's account.
Set accounts to private: Agents should ensure that their social media accounts are set to private, so that only authorised users can view their content. This measure helps to reduce the risk of cyberattacks, as well as the amount of personal information that is publicly visible.
Use private accounts: Creating private accounts or separate professional accounts can limit the amount of personal information that is visible to the public, reducing the risk of identity theft and other forms of cybercrime.
Be cautious when clicking on links or responding to messages: Agents should be careful when clicking on links or responding to messages, especially those from unknown sources. These could be phishing attempts or malware that could infect their device and compromise their social media account.
For those who are experiencing the latest Shein gift card saga, my advice to stop being tagged would be:
Click on your profile picture.
Tap the three lines at the top.
Go to ‘Privacy’.
Go to the ‘Who can tag you’ section.
Change this to people you follow