Back in the day, online security was kind of a joke – but that was before your most private personal details were accessible online. Your bank, your stock portfolio, your government records, your medical history – those are really big, important parts of your financial security, and nowdays all accessible online with a simple email & password.
What if that password was compromised? In 2016, some of the largest data-breaches in the history of the internet happened, leading to the emails, usernames, and passwords of billions of users around the globe being stolen by hackers, and likely sold online to others willing to use that data for nefarious purposes.
Sound paranoid? Maybe it would have been, before the Yahoo, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Internal Revenue Service, or US Department of Justice breaches in 2016….and these are only the ones that made the news. Click here to view last year’s high-profile hacks that may have compromised your data.
It’s time to face a new reality: we live in a world where online security is profoundly important to your physical, emotional, and financial security. If your bank or retirement account really matter, then what about the locks on your smart-home doors, the built-in location tracking in your car, or the app-controls on your pacemaker?
Test-It-Yourself Real Estate Security
Now that you know what’s at stake, here’s an easy way to test if a website is secure. In the photo below, you’ll see a green security status in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox address bar. If you don’t see this, then you’re NOT on a secure site, and hackers can easily steal your credentials by “sniffing” your login.
So now that you know what a secure connection looks like, take a look at the sites below. Each link opens in a new window, so test them all and then come back to find out what this means to you:
- Tim & Julie Harris (our website)
- National Association Of Realtors®
- California Association Of Realtors®
- Inman News
- Active Rain
Surprised? You should be – of the sites listed above, only ours, the NAR, Google, and Facebook all require a secure connection, even though ALL of the sites listed above have user login information. This isn’t a gimmick, and it’s certainly not a joke – if you think we’re pulling a fast one on you, go ahead & Google each site and then click their links ….you’ll see the same result.
Here’s an even BIGGER shock……so get ready! Every single one of the sites above supports secure connections – but it’s not their default. They don’t require it, like Google & the United States Government recommend. That recommendation is why over 50% of all web traffic is now secure.
What it boils down to is this: every device out there supports secure browsing, and your real estate providers owe it to you to make that security standard. Remember that “green means clean” in terms of your internet connection – and if you’re logged into a website and it’s not secure, then neither is your login information. As blogger Chris Anderson said, “secure is the new normal” – so insist on it in your online interactions.