Using old, insecure software could violate Realtor Code of Ethics

Agents and brokers who insist on using software that is vulnerable to security breaches are violating the Realtor Code of Ethics, according to security consultant Matt Cohen.

The code requires Realtors to preserve confidential information provided by their clients and to “eliminate practices which may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession.”

Agents that use operating systems and Web browsers with known vulnerabilities, such as Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8, instead of upgrading, are not following the code, Cohen said.

“For Realtors who are charged with preserving confidential information as a standard of practice, upgrading to software that minimizes vulnerability is mandatory,” he wrote.

Cohen, chief technologist for consulting firm Clareity, previously pointed out that more than a quarter of the top 50 multiple listing service sites and nearly half of the top 50 big broker sites are insecure.