If the password for your Facebook or work accounts is “password,” you may want to rethink your online strategy. According to the latest research from the password safety manager NordPass, “password” and “12345” are the two online passwords real estate professionals choose most often.

“Simon,” “company name” and “Welcome1” are some other easy-to-guess passwords that made it into NordPass’s Top 10 list for the real estate industry. Only 29 percent of real estate professionals choose passwords that fall into what NordPass classifies as “unique” while, in 2020, the company found 162,455 online breaches in the industry.

“Businesses and their employees have a duty to protect their customers’ data,” Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass, said in a statement. “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.”

NordPass

According to NordPass, an average data breach could cost an American company as much as $8.64 million — both in direct costs involving detection and repair and in indirect costs involving lost customer trust.

To avoid the trouble and lost revenue that comes with such a breach, real estate professionals should consider creating complex passwords (a combination of letters that do not make up a common word and digits is best) and updating them regularly 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.

“Consumer-facing breaches can extend beyond personal accounts, potentially exposing the enterprise as well,” NordPass writes. “Data breaches like this can create a domino effect across multiple organizations through the reuse of credentials across personal and business accounts.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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