Posts Tagged as Security

Is Your Home Buying Walk Through Taped for Intel?

Is Your Home Buying Walk Through Taped for Intel?

It seems that sellers are getting increasingly overbearing these days. Real estate trends point to eyes and ears – both literally and figuratively – on potential home buyers. How bad is it? Holy privacy violations and paranoia, Batman, creepy clients are everywhere…

A Sneak Peek

As it turns out, clients nationwide are becoming a bit too voyeuristic. Perhaps social media has the average Sally Seller thinking privacy is relative, but it is now commonplace for a seller to follow a prospective buyer through the home on a home tour, and even install ‘nanny cams’ and other digital security devices in efforts to track potential buyer conversations and actions. Post-Facebook privacy invasion drama, this rise of seller shenanigans is seriously stirring the pot.

Creepy or Crime?

With home media and security devices becoming more prevalent, including ‘smart’ devices like Siri and Alexa keeping an eye on things, it pays to keep clients in the know – even if it means an uncomfortable conversation. Until such time as the legality of such practices comes to the forefront, advising clients to watch their comments is key. You never know what might be recorded – for posterity or bargaining power.

Tips to Avoid Overseeing – and Overpayment

To prevent sellers from potentially using a client’s desire for a home against them in the bargaining process, creating an organizational-wide guide for sellers touring homes is ideal, noting such surveillance devices. On the seller side of the coin? Ask each seller about the presence of equipment, being certain you completely understand the privacy laws in your area.

Hanging a sign on the door forewarning of surveillance is strongly recommended. Because of this real estate trend’s prevalence, the NAR now offers a best practices tutorial on the subject, with state-specific legislation.

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Is Your Home Buying Walk Through Taped for Intel?

Smart Home Hackers: What Agents Should Know

In this week’s real estate selling tips: Is smart home technology putting you and your clients at risk? Purported to bring convenience, security, and improved connectivity, smart services are instead bringing unauthorized surveillance, loss of privacy, and compromised data, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).

What’s the IoT?
The combined/synergistic use of mobile apps, cloud storage, big data, automation, sensors, and more, attached to everyday items, processes and systems, part-and-parcel of everything from your phone and laptop to your TV, appliances, door locks, and security. Case(s) and point(s): Recent WikiLeaks on the CIA’s (and other hackers’) ability to spy on you via TV – not to mention last October’s massive, internet service disrupting, distributed DDoS attack.

The IoT-DDoS Conundrum
Each of these devices relies on the cloud to operate, either for analysis or as a communications path to other devices, forming a “botnet” of devices. But there is no magical “cloud” – only someone else’s computer, such as company Dyn’s DNS system – the one hacked last October. Protection of botnets, to date, is woefully insufficient, and devices are so prolific that if a mere portion of those in homes were comprised, it could prove disastrous. The best protection? Keeping these devices out, as even password-protected gadgets are NOT secure, and informing clients of smart home risks.

Isn’t Technology Grand?
The magic of the cloud comes at a price…. Continual transfer of personal data (habits, speech, possessions) funneled away to an assortment of third parties is a privacy rabbit hole that leads to technological nightmares.

  • A 2016 Nest’s smart thermostat glitch caused batteries to drain, leaving consumers without heat – in January – with no way to turn it back on. The fix: Nine-steps, included a 3-hour charge-cycle.
  • Samsung’s smart refrigerator photograph contents – great if you lost your shopping list; bad for advertising your prescriptions – and allowing insurers to peruse your dietary choices.
  • Beware of “smart’ tech terms of service, which limits damages, prohibits class action lawsuits, and requires resolution via arbitration.

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