When you apply for a credit card and when you apply to rent an apartment, you basically provide the same information: name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and previous address. Identity thieves are starting to realize that rental applications contain everything they want to steal, so if you’re not already protecting your renters’ information, the time to start doing it is now, before a data breach leaves you struggling to recover.
Big Data Means Big Money
Every month we hear about data breaches where thieves steal the identifying information of tens of millions of ecommerce customers. No one is immune, and a data breach can decimate an investor financially. Imagine that you store 1,000 renters’ sensitive information on your computer, and that data is stolen. It costs an average of $188 per record to then protect those residents retroactively. That’s a $188,000 mismanagement mistake that could have been avoided, and it’s a big hit for your renters—and your reputation.
Check With Your Software Provider
Electronic rental application management systems have come of-age with the specter of identity theft as a real threat, so by all accounts, they should have protections built-in to prevent data theft. You’ll know your software company offers the best data protection if they utilize:
- Multiple firewalls
- Off-site data hosting
- Regular data backups
- 24/7 server monitoring
Minimize In-House Risks
When you’re using cloud-based third-party software that offers these protections, you’re ahead of the game. But, you may still be jeopardizing your residents by keeping multiple copies of their information on an in-office hard drive or tablet. Minimize risk by making sure you set (and use) passwords, only store tenant data in one place (off-site), and perform thorough background checks on all your personnel who have login accounts for your system.
Protecting the sensitive information of residents who call your property “home” is the least you can do as a responsible and proactive property owner. If the world of data management and identity protection has you baffled, call in the professionals at Class A Management today at 817-295-5959 or e-mail, . We’ll help minimize risks to you, and your residents.