Rightmove is to roll-out two-factor authentication within Rightmove Plus to try to protect agents against attempts by fraudsters to steal leads and upload fake properties under their brand name.
Rightmove will be contacting agents in advance before introducing the new feature for their branches, and the roll-out will be starting with independent agency branches.
This follows a controversy in March when Rightmove temporarily prevented access to parts of its listings back-end, with little or no warning. Now Rightmove has pledged to give warning to customers.
The portal says two factor authentication adds an extra layer of security as it asks an agent to enter their password and also enter a one-time passcode that is generated and sent to them separately.
Rightmove’s chief information security officer Tim Harding is asking agents for their help to get their teams to adopt the enhanced security feature in Rightmove Plus as soon as it becomes available to them so that all branches can have greater protection.
In a message to agents he says: “Since the start of the year we know of six estate agents that had their own email inboxes compromised, giving a fraudster access to their online accounts.
“We’ll be working with you over the coming months to add two-factor authentication to your Rightmove Plus accounts, to try and help protect you and your teams from incidents that could damage your brand reputation or that could lead to you having to report yourself to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
“We’re adding it to areas where there is a risk of personal data being accessed or where your property listings could be altered.
“We really need your help to make sure your teams understand the benefit it brings to them and why it’s so important to start using this added layer of security at a time when fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and your teams are being targeted with increasing numbers of phishing emails. We know this will take a bit of time to get used to but we hope that many of you will already be using two-factor for other accounts such as online banking.”
Rightmove will be rolling out the new measure gradually and will be contacting agents by email with instructions before enabling two-factor authentication on their account.
The areas of Rightmove Plus that will have this additional level of security are:
- Lead Reports;
- Opportunity Manager;
- Viewings Manager;
- User Management; and
- Add & Edit Properties.
Rightmove also recently introduced a new system which automatically checks an agent’s password, and prompts them to change it if it has been involved in a previous breach from somewhere else online.