Ideas to protect your money and beat the hacker

Because we need to transfer money so let’s keep it safe

TL:DR: …..there is no short version – just read it all – it’s your money we’re protecting.

To be honest I’m quite scared using the word “hacker” in the title – we posted a little blurb on cyber security and hackers on our Facebook page and the first 5 comments were “people” with links on how to get your account unlocked. The irony!

If you’re not sure why we’re so worried about cyber security and hacking then read this article first

Now I’m great at calculating settlement figures (although my pet hate calculation is water consumption) and organising settlements but I’m not a cyber security expert – so I will give you some of my tips but please remember this list is not “The Complete Guide to Cyber Security”

  • Create strong passwords that include a range of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. On this note – you are not clever by adding capitalising the start of your password or adding “1” / “!” to the end of your password. A password containing only 4 numbers can be cracked by a hacker in seconds. A password containing 11 characters using a combination of numbers, uppercase, lowercase and symbols can take 400 years to crack.
  • Use two-factor authentication on your accounts. 2FA involves a text message code or authentication app generating a code before you can log on.
  • Check websites are secure – look for the “s” in the URL – https:// and a closed padlock.
  • Use the PexaKey app to communicate account details with your solicitor. The information shared by this app is encrypted and backed by a $2million guarantee from Pexa.
  • Ask your real estate agent to use Securexchange as a means of requesting payment for the deposit.
  • Phone the party requesting money to check their account details and the payment request before transferring funds (but see below for an important pre-cursor to that phone call).
  • Never rely on a phone number listed in an email signature (if they can change account details they can change a phone number as well). Separately verify a phone number – check their website/social page, look at the agent’s business card, check the number saved in your phone.
  • For large amounts get a bank cheque and deliver to the office of the agent or solicitor.
  • Perform a small transfer (eg $1) to the account and confirm receipt (check above re phone calls) before transferring the balance. (If the transfer involves payment of the deposit check with us first that you have time to do separate transactions as the contract has strict time frames).
  • Share scams knowledge with family/friends/co-workers and also if anyone else is involved in transferring money as part of your purchase (eg gift from parents).

We know it sounds scary but a high-stress environment requiring funds to be transferred by a strict time frame is a hackers dream as they know people let their guard down.

If you are ever unsure of a communication or what to do – just phone us and we will happily chat with you about options.


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