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Most Agents Have Ridiculously-Easy-to-Guess Passwords

Hackers breaking into your account – or a broker’s account via the agent with the weakest password – start with “12345” and “password,” the most common in the industry.

SAN FRANCISCO – New research from NordPass, a password safety manager, finds that “password” and “12345” are the two most frequently used online passwords among real estate professionals.

Other frequently used passwords include “Simon” and “Welcome1,” according to NordPass’s Top 10 list for the real estate industry. Only 29% of real estate professionals create passwords that are what NordPass categorizes as “unique.”

In 2020, the company identified 162,455 online breaches in the industry.

“A weak password of one employee could potentially jeopardize the whole company if an attacker used the breached password to gain access to sensitive data,” says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass.

NordPass estimates that an average data breach can cost an American company as much as $8.64 million, both in direct costs involving detection and repair, and in indirect costs involving the loss of customer trust.

Real estate professionals must choose more complex passwords, such as a combination of digits and letters that don’t make a common word. Passwords also should be updated routinely through a password manager.

Multi-factor authentication could provide additional security, but most importantly, the same password should never be used across personal and work accounts. NordPass warns that “consumer-facing breaches … can create a domino effect across multiple organizations through the reuse of credentials across personal and business accounts.”

Source: Inman (04/28/21) Bondarenko, Veronika

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