The protection and privacy of a prospect’s or resident’s personally identifiable information should always be front of mind for apartment owners and managers. In July at RealWorld, the annual RealPage user conference, a collection of industry professionals shared tips and best practices for maintaining data security and protecting resident privacy.
One popular discussion point was that keeping personally identifiable information out of the apartment leasing office is the first step toward properly securing the privacy of this important data. Another was keeping close reigns on third-party vendors, like collectors, that share personally identifiable information.
All agreed that property owners relish the day when a prospective resident fills out that application for residency, but punching in that applicant’s social security, credit card or any other personally identifiable information can turn smiles to frowns if the data is violated. Sensitivity to personally identifiable information has heightened in recent years because of increased information technology and the potential for obtaining information through Internet breaches and network security.
Any time names, social security numbers, driver’s license number, addresses – things typically required during the leasing process – are collected, certain rigorous privacy requirements are triggered. The property has an obligation to keep that information secure, panelists said. When data is breached, the attorney general is notified.
Apartment industry executives said that personally identifiable information affects the property, not just consumers, when employees handle that information. Special precautions should be taken.
The good news is that there are a few electronic tools that can help, but a couple of common practices are the first step.
Property Management Insider highlights some good tips in this article here.