Data breaches are becoming a common occurrence, a scenario that could cause Gallatin rental property owners to worry about. When you lease a property, you gather 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 modern technology, either you need to have advanced IT skills, or you’ll need to consider working with a property management company that does. Either way, there are a few strategies you can do to guarantee that your tenant’s personal information stays safe and secure.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Firewalls
In most cases, the more random your passwords are, the less likely they’ll be hacked. Never use simple passwords that include words or easy to classify number sequences (like a phone number). Rather, generate strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Avoid accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, including those often seen in coffee shops and libraries. Another essential security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall can make a solid boundary between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you have no experience installing one, enlist the assistance of an IT professional.
2. Prevent Malware
Apart from a firewall, any computer you use to access tenant data needs to have anti-malware software installed on it. Anti-malware software will help prevent hackers and identity thieves from acquiring the information they shouldn’t if they get past your firewall. Online criminals will attempt to bypass your firewall by sending you links that will download malware onto your hard drive when you click on them. You may not be aware that you have done it. Once installed, malware can be very difficult to remove and usually needs the help of a specialist to do so.
3. Take Privacy Seriously
You may need your tenant’s personal data for good reasons, so it is important to make a secure system to ensure that you don’t accidentally violate their privacy. Preferably, avoid including their social security numbers or credit card information in locations that are easily obtainable. Be very vigilant with any documents that may include your tenant’s personal information, such as phone numbers and addresses, and shred any document you no longer need promptly – do not throw documents in the trash. Even a tiny act of negligence can result in substantial legal liabilities, especially if the privacy breach can be traced back to your information handling practices.
4. Call the Experts
With so much depending on your potential to protect your tenant’s sensitive information, it is still recommended to call in professionals to help. While you can establish and manage all of your own security measures, you may find it far more cost-effective to engage with a property management company to complete all of the essential services you need. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the resources to supply high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes beyond even the measures stated in this post, guaranteeing that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and gives you an excellent customer experience.
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