As a landlord, you collect your client’s data, and it’s your obligation to protect it from breach. But how can you do that? We are here to help you. Read on to find out what steps you can take to boost your cybersecurity protocols as a responsible landlord.
1. Protect Your Client’s Privacy
Email can be a big part of how you converse with your clients. Whilst companies such as Google are not permitted to share user information. It can still spread when personalized ads are generated and in other circumstances.
Set up your website to communicate with your clients. On top of broadcasting an air of professionalism, having your domain name will also help to keep the client’s data safe and secure.
Another thing you can do is invest in a reputable client data management system and limit access to this system to only those employees who need it.
To add an extra layer of protection, safeguard the password to the system by creating it and storing it in a proper password manager tool.
2. Ensure The Safety Of Your Smart Devices
You may want to upgrade your property with intelligent systems. Innovative home consoles allow controlling functions like the property’s lighting, heating, and much more from an app on their device.
It’s a very convenient and modern way to manage your property, but it’s also a loop for cybercriminals who use it to access your data.
Since innovative features often have an internet connection to enable functionality, it automatically makes them a potential target for hackers. To avoid data leaks and breaches, regularly update your intelligent devices and protect them with additional measures.
You can do this in a few ways:
- Enable automatic updates or install patches manually;
- Make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN);
- Have devices password protected.
3. Protect Your Own Identity
It can be easy to forget that any information that can identify your location or preferences needs to be kept safe.
As a landlord and a business owner, you must secure your private details from snoopers. To do so, double-check what personal information about you is available online. A good starting point is your social media accounts.
Social media can display data such as your date of birth, full name, the university where you studied, and much more. Some hackers can use this information to access your accounts.
For instance, they can find an answer to your security question among the information you’ve shared online. This means your clients’ data could also be at risk.
Think carefully about the information visible or accessible to others and remove all the extras.
4. Install Anti-Virus Software
Some computers and other devices come with essential anti-virus software installed. And still, if you regularly use a machine for financial transactions and other vital functions, upgrading your protection is heavily advised.
Remember, any device with internet capability can be a target. This includes:
- Smart TVs.
Install reputable anti-virus software for the added layer of security. You may want to try a free trial to see how the system works and if you like the interface and usability and then invest in a paid version.
5. Update Your Operating System and Apps
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s one that many people often forget. Hackers find and exploit weaknesses in your software, from email to banking apps.
As for the Operating System you’re running, even the onboard security measures will eventually become outdated. This often happens sooner than you’d think.
It can be tempting to keep postponing updates, especially if you feel like you’re always in the middle of something. By doing so, you’re putting your information at risk and your client’s.
Put some time aside and update your OS and the apps you use as soon as possible after you receive the first notification telling you to do so.
Remember, the upgrades developers roll out do not always download automatically. You may have to go into the app yourself and manually install the latest version of the app on the OS you’re using.
6. Stay Vigilant With Your Online Accounts
Make sure your passwords aren’t easy to guess. Whilst many sites may prompt you to choose a secure password, some don’t. Some good advice for creating a strong password is to use the following:
- Use a mix of upper and lower case letters;
- Include numbers as well as letters;
- Add special characters such as an exclamation mark or a question mark;
Also, avoid using the same password for all of your accounts. Because if hackers can access one of them, they can potentially access them all. Make use of a password manager.
FBI statistics on internet crime show that in 2021, victims combined to lose over $350 million in the real estate/rental arena. Whilst strong password practices won’t remove your risk altogether, they can help reduce it.
7. Opt For Two-Factor Authentication
This is also known as mutual authentication. It’s when both parties involved in a transaction must validate their identities. A simple example is when a banking app sends you and/or your client a code to input before a transaction.
Another benefit is that some applications notify users of suspicious activity on their account, such as a login from a new device. Don’t ignore these; check them out to see if anything untoward is happening.
8. Secure Your Finances
Financial transactions are a big part of letting business. Hackers usually know that most transactions happen either at the beginning or at the end of each month. They wait for this opportunity to steal your tenants’ money and potentially cause you reputational risks.
To avoid any sort of attack, encrypt your digital data and don’t hold on to any records longer than you’re legally required to. It’s also good to store the data in the cloud just in case your computer gets compromised.
Your clients will have to trust you if they are to do business with you. Follow the tips above, and you’ll find that you and your clients will feel much more secure. The more steps you can take to bolster your cybersecurity, the better.