As family members and friends join you at your home to celebrate the holidays, take some precautions to protect your renter’s personal and confidential information. While it’s unlikely that a loved one will attempt to steal your tenant’s identity, it’s important all the same to uphold high security measures (especially when sticky-fingered children are running around). In order to protect your renter’s information, here are 3 things you shouldn’t have lying around.
Any of your Applicants’ Credit Reports
Under the Code of Federal Regulations 682.3, “any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal”. The Federal Trade Administration requires you to burn, pulverize, or shred paper reports and properly destroy electronic credit reports, after you’ve made your rental decision. This means using a cross-cut shredder is a must.
If you haven’t made your rental decision yet, then it’s imperative that you utilize a lockable filing cabinet in the meantime or, if you have digital credit reports, then you should take some time to make sure your computer’s security features are updated and your passwords are secure. Start improving your computer’s security by November 30th (also known as National Computer Security Day) before the Christmas busy work begins.
Your Tenant’s Application
While ApplyConnect conveniently removes the applicant’s social security number from the background report and online application, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be safeguarding your tenant’s application. As with credit reports without an adverse action, you should store your renter’s application in a safe, lockable filing cabinet. For extra protection, consider adding a door lock to your at-home office as well. Don’t forget to hide the spare keys to your filing cabinet or office in a safe place.
Rent Checks and Contact Information
Overall, if you keep an organized and clean work space you should not only be able to keep your tenant’s rent checks and contact information out of plain sight, but you’ll be ready to tackle work after the holiday season. According to a 2013 survey, 55% of surveyed Americans stated that at-home disorganization was a source of their stress. By utilizing our home office and email inbox organizational tips, you’ll be ready to handle whatever 2017 brings.
During Thanksgiving and Christmas, close off your office space to guests and family members and remove credit reports, applications, rent checks, and other personal information from plain sight. Utilize safe practices by taking advantage of lockable file cabinets, cross-cut shredders, and unique computer passwords. While you might feel that your renter’s information is safe amongst your loved ones, it just takes one bad milk spill from a running toddler to ruin your tenant’s recent rent check and personal files. It’s better not to take chances.
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