We all understand how important it is to make sure a website is secure when making online purchases, but did you know that it’s equally important to make sure you are viewing properties and registering on secure property websites too?
You may be asking yourself “But if I’m not giving out credit card details, why does it matter?”
Online fraud, including property fraud, is on the increase and even something as simple as visiting an insecure property website can give fraudsters access to your computer and your life. It can also be a signal to them that you are in the market for a move and large financial transactions are likely to take place sometime soon.
If a site isn’t secure and you register for property alerts or fill in any type of form, you are making it even easier for hackers to access your information and give them an open opportunity to sit and wait until the time is right to strike.
Fraudsters are patient and are happy to wait. Just because you’ve used an insecure property website and nothing has happened for months, don’t be tricked into thinking it won’t!
One of the easiest ways criminals can steal your information is via email so be very careful where you register it. If you are asked to register an account on a site using your email and create a password, don’t use the same password you use for your email and make sure it’s a strong one and NEVER register on a site that doesn’t display the secure padlock in the browser.
If fraudsters have accessed your details via an insecure website, all they have to do to fleece you of your hard earned money is intercept an email from your solicitor, send a fake email with a change in the banking deposit details to their own and you can say goodbye to your dreams of a new home. It really is that simple.
Phishing sites are also a common way to steal information and with many of the simple and less technically complex websites that are produced these days, it is a cinch for hackers to clone them or hack into the original site and add their own contact form links.
If you click on a link to a form on an insecure site and it opens up in a new window, rather than on part of the site, think twice about registering. Check the browser. Is it the right URL and is it displaying the secure padlock?
Legitimate and conscientious estate agents, letting agents, solicitors and of course website builders know that providing a safe online environment is part of being a responsible business owner.
We upgraded ALL of our existing customers’ property websites to full https SSL security early in 2017 for FREE and made it a standard feature on all of our new sites going forward.
If your website builder hasn’t updated your site to https SSL security or is charging you extra to do so, maybe it’s time to get in touch with The Property Jungle
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