Last week, we began to look into the subject of cybersecurity for property managers. You’ve hopefully begun to understand now how important it is to keep your business’ and your renters’ information safe, so read on to learn some strategies that can ensure that all of this stays secure.
Diverse Passwords Crucial to Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is not a single-person effort. If you have a property management team, or even just a partner, then you should discuss together what your plan for online security will be and who will handle which tasks. For example, if there is an issue, who will attend to it? If tenants or renters have a question about the safety of their data, who will address it? These are just two examples, so think through the kinds of situations that might arise so that you can divvy up the workload accordingly ahead of time.
One of the biggest mistakes made by all web users these days is not creating strong-enough (and diverse) passwords. If you only have one password to protect your system and it’s easy to guess, then you’re in big trouble. Even if you think no one could figure it out, technology used by the people that might steal your information can uncover it. The more variable it is, with capital letters, numbers, and the like, the better-protected your info will be.
Not only do you want to create a strong password – a password that can’t be found in the dictionary – you need to make sure you have a different one for each and every login. That sounds tedious, but it’s a necessity. “When hackers gain access to one of your passwords, they have software that allows them to test it across all of your accounts—potentially enabling them to gain access to all of your information in one fell swoop.” Make it as difficult as possible for anyone to gain access to your systems, or you’ll wish you had done all of this sooner.
Another crucial piece of cybersecurity is to keep your system software updated. This means your programs, browsers, website, and more. Whenever there are updates to run, make sure that they are taken care of as soon as possible. These updates can make the difference between a possible security breach and strong cyber-defenses. While you’re at it, look into installing an anti-virus software to keep yourself protected in a more passive way.
A lot of the information passed around within property management is likely considered “sensitive.” A good rule of thumb is to “grant access to as few people as possible, and to have a plan in place to remove those privileges the moment they leave the company.” You don’t want people having access to this information when there’s no need; even if they are trustworthy, it just increases your security risk, which is the last thing you need. Make sure, too, that records that you no longer need (such as files on renters who have moved out) are destroyed once they are no longer relevant.
How secure is your wireless? If your network isn’t password-protected and encrypted, then you have already put yourself at risk. To give yourself some idea of the scope of danger, “93% of the time, attackers take just minutes (or less) to compromise a system; and intruders are in your network for an average of 200 days before they’re noticed.” That is a fairly alarming statistic and one that you likely don’t want to become a part of. Rather, do some of the following so that you can keep your internet as safe as possible:
- Only give access to your main network to those who need it, and offer another, guest network for others
- Restrict access to questionable and possibly-dangerous sites for those on your main network
- Don’t use your router’s default password; change it right away
Something you may not consider is the use of smartphones for business. A lot of people use online banking, for example, and similar apps or sites may be visited by your employees. If they are doing so, then you should absolutely “consider a mobile device management (MDM) solution, which allows you to monitor, manage, and secure employee devices, from smartphones to laptops.” This will help to keep everyone’s information safe and secure across all devices.
There is so much that goes into cybersecurity and this is really just a few pieces of that. To help manage all of the information within your property management work, consider ’employing’ Budgetrac. Budegtrac Property Management Software is a secure way to store and manage much of your business information and functionality. Its features and flexibility really make it easy to get things done and keep them organized without sacrificing safety. What more could you ask for?