Data breaches have been a common concern and a source of fear for Forest Hills rental property owners. 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 digital environment, either you need advanced IT skills, or you’ll need to start working with a property management company that does. Either way, you need to do certain things 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. Never choose simple passwords that include words or quickly identified number sequences (like a phone number). Rather, make strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Avoid accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, including those usually found in coffee houses and libraries. An additional key security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall can make a strong barrier between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you don’t know how to install one, you need to seek an IT professional.
2. Prevent Malware
In addition to a firewall, any computer you use to access tenant data needs to have anti-malware software installed on it. Anti-malware software can help prevent hackers and identity thieves from getting the details they shouldn’t in case they get through the firewall. Cybercriminals will try to bypass your firewall by sending you links that will download malware onto your hard drive when you click on them. You may not even realize that you did that. Once installed, malware can be complicated to remove and typically requires the help of an expert.
3. Take Privacy Seriously
You may need your tenant’s personal data for good reasons, but you should need a secure system in order to guarantee that you may not accidentally violate their privacy. As much as possible, do not put their social security numbers or credit card information in locations that are easy to notice. Be very alert with any documents that may include your tenant’s personal information, like phone numbers and addresses, and shred any document you no longer need instantly – never throw documents in the trash. Even a little act of negligence may lead to serious legal liabilities, especially if the privacy breach can be traced back to your information handling practices.
4. Call the Experts
With so much relying on your ability to secure your tenant’s sensitive information, it may be smarter and more beneficial to request professionals to help. Even though you can arrange and manage all of your own security measures, you may find it much more cost-effective to hire a property management company to organize all of the essential services you need. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the potential to supply high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes far beyond the measures stated in this section, ensuring that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and gives you a full sense of security.
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