Data breaches are becoming a common incident, a situation that should be a cause for concern for Reno 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 world, you either need advanced IT skills, or you’ll need to ponder upon working with a property management company that does. Either way, there are a few stuff you can do to guarantee 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. Avoid utilizing simple passwords that include words or easy-to-find number sequences (like a phone number). As an option, make strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Avoid accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, like those frequently found in coffee shops and libraries. One other crucial security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall can generate a good barrier between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you do not know how to install one, enlist the advice of an IT professional.
2. Prevent Malware
Together with a firewall, any computer you use to access tenant data needs to have anti-malware software installed on it. Anti-malware software can help keep hackers and identity thieves from getting the information they should not if they get past your firewall. Hackers will seek 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 be conscious that you have done so. Once installed, malware can be particularly tricky to remove and often involves a professional’s help to do so.
3. Take Privacy Seriously
You may need your tenant’s personal data for good reasons, but you should have a security system set up to certify that you don’t accidentally violate their privacy. If possible, avoid keeping their social security numbers or credit card information in locations that are easily available. 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 one small act of negligence could put you on the hook for serious legal liabilities, especially if the privacy breach can be traced back to your information handling practices.
4. Call the Experts
With so much that is hinging on your ability to protect your tenant’s sensitive information, it may be wiser and more economical 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 appoint a property management company to offer all of the essential services you need. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the resources to provide high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes beyond even the measures described in this article, ensuring that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and offering you total peace of mind.
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