Data breaches are becoming a common problem, a situation that should be a reason for panic for San Antonio rental property owners. When you lease a property, you receive 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 environment, either you need advanced IT skills, or you’ll need to start consulting for a property management company that does. Either way, there are several things you need to consider to ensure that your tenant’s personal information stays safe and secure.
1. Use Strong Passwords and Firewalls
Usually, the more random your passwords are, the less likely they’ll be hacked. Refrain from using simple passwords that include words or easily identified number sequences (like a phone number). Rather, create strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, computers, and cloud storage accounts. Stop accessing tenant data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, including those typically found in coffee houses and universities. Another vital security measure is to enable a firewall on your computer. A firewall can make a strong boundary between hackers and your tenant’s sensitive data. If you don’t know how to install one, it is ideal 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 obtaining the data they’re not supposed to get if they pass by the firewall. Cyber attackers 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 usually needs an expert’s help to do so.
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, avoid putting their social security numbers or credit card information in locations that are easily accessible. Be very alert with any documents that may include your tenant’s personal information, particularly phone numbers and addresses, and shred any document you no longer need directly – never throw documents in the trash. Even a minor case of negligence might place you at risk for significant 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 desire to secure your tenant’s sensitive information, it may be wiser and more convenient to call in professionals to help. Even though you can arrange and manage all of your own security measures, you may find it far more cost-effective to get a property management company to do all of the essential services you need. National property management firms like Real Property Management have the capacity to produce high-level security for both you and your tenants. Our information security goes beyond even the description given in this section, ensuring that your tenant’s personal information remains safe and secure and giving you 100% satisfaction.
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