Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
Part of the tenant screening process is collecting personal information. Most landlords don’t really think about security. Whether they’re background checks, bank account numbers, or other personal details, you’re responsible for safeguarding important data. If not, they’d end up in the hands of thieves.
In this post, we’ll discuss ways on how to protect tenants’ sensitive data. Don’t be the landlord who has no idea on privacy measures.
A basic way to ensure safety is to avoid storing tenant information in laptops or computers that you often use outside your home. For example, the computer at your workplace. There are many ways hackers can access the computers of huge companies.
Develop the habit of keeping the software tools or programs in your computer up-to-date. Don’t forget to include your security programs such as anti-malware, anti-spyware, antivirus, and firewall. You might need to stay away from Java or Flash software as they’re highly vulnerable to attacks.
Landlords who are always on the go may keep tenants’ information on their mobile phones or tablets. These things can easily be stolen if you’re not extra careful. If this ever happens (and we hope it won’t!) at least those pieces of information don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Just because we live in a tech world doesn’t mean we can’t resort to previous ways of safeguarding data. A lock box has a simple function as you only need to input code manually in order to retrieve important documents. This method is fast and convenient. However, make sure to keep the safety box inside your home office - not elsewhere.
You may have a pile of documents from tenants years back who are no longer in your rental. Since these papers are no longer useful to you, you might be thinking of throwing them in the trash. Instead, do paper shredding. A regular office shredder will do just fine but commercial shredders are unbeatable in destroying sensitive information. You’ll need a commercial shredder if you have a lot of paperwork.
Yes, there’s a still chance you can retrieve your devices after they’ve been lost or stolen. While there are really no guarantees, not having a tracking system in place increases the risk of not getting your stuff back. Finder apps include Find My iPhone, Device Locator, or Prey Anti Theft. If you keep your documents in an app called Dropbox or in Gmail, these online services log the IP address used and show them in your account. So, this tells you whether someone else accessed your files.
So there you have it, 5 simple ways to protect your tenants’ sensitive information. Privacy is a common concern these days. Don’t be facing a data breach lawsuit just because you never took handling sensitive information seriously. Be a responsible landlord!
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