Data breaches are increasingly a common case in which Windsor rental property owners should be concerned. When you lease a property, you collect sensitive personal data from your tenants, which may find its way into the hands of identity thieves unless handled correctly. To protect your tenant’s sensitive information in today’s computerized world, you will need advanced IT skills, or you’ll need to work closely with a property management company that does. In any case, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your tenant’s personal information stays safe and secure.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Firewalls
In general, the more random your passwords are, the less likely they’ll be hacked. Do not use simple passwords that include words or obvious number sequences (like a phone number). Alternatively, build strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Avoid accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, such as those normally used in coffee shops and public libraries. Another principal security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall will establish a good buffer between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you don’t know how to install one, get support from an IT professional is the best idea.
2. Prevent Malware
Alongside a firewall, any computer you use to access tenant data needs to have anti-malware software installed on it. Anti-malware software can help block hackers and identity thieves from acquiring data they shouldn’t if they breach your firewall. Hackers will make an effort to bypass your firewall by sending you links that will download malware onto your hard drive when you click on them. Perhaps you don’t even know you did that. Once installed, malware can be incredibly hard to remove and often requires the assistance of an expert.
3. Take Privacy Seriously
You may need your tenant’s personal data for good reasons, but a secure system should be in place to make sure that you don’t accidentally violate their privacy. If possible, do not store their social security numbers or credit card information on publicly available sites. Be very careful with any documents that may include your tenant’s personal information, including phone numbers and addresses, and shred any document you no longer need immediately – never throw documents in the trash. Even slight action of negligence could put you on the hook for significant legal liabilities, especially if the privacy breach can be traced back to your information handling practices.
4. Call the Experts
With such a lot of riding on your capacity to keep your tenant’s sensitive information, it may be safer and more reliable to ask professionals to help. Even though you can organize and manage all of your own security measures, you may find it undeniably more cost-effective to appoint a property management company to manage all of the essential services you want. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the capability to deliver high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes beyond even the measures described in this section, guaranteeing that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and offering you total peace of mind.
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