Security Tips for Community Managers
There was a time when community managers only had to worry about the security of the premises which they are tasked with overseeing. However, in today’s digital world there are a number of security threats that can’t be detected by an on-site security guard or a CCTV security system. Community managers of the 21st Century need to be technologically savvy to offer the broadest and best array of security for the building or buildings they manage. The following security tips should prove helpful in setting up tight security for your building.
Know Your Tenants
The cardinal rule for any community manager is to know the tenants. Not only is this important to offer the best customer service possible based on each tenant’s personality and needs but also to provide adequate security as each individual may have varying degrees of needs. In the physical realm, one tenant may be disabled and unable to guard against potential threats due to lack of mobility or sight or hearing whilst another tenant may be elderly and not quite up on security threats prevalent in a hi tech society.
Make a Careful Analysis of the Grounds
Before you can even think about establishing a security regimen for your premises and operations, it is vital to make a careful analysis of where there may be weaknesses that can be penetrated. These could be physical weaknesses such as broken gates, fences and locks that don’t function as they should and it could be your computer system, especially if there is Wi-Fi access available to tenants and staff alike. When doing your inspection, check out what type of protection (if any!) against malware you have in place, and whether the subscriptions are current. This is vital on a number of levels.
Why You Need Small Business Antivirus Protection
Stepping back for a moment to look more closely at your computer security programs, the one thing you really need to be aware of is the fact that malware can do more than take down your machine. Not only can one attack bring your whole system tumbling down but everyone reliant on your Wi-Fi will be without internet access and your employees working in the Cloud will not be able to access their files unless they are offsite. But, even this can be minimal to the real dangers of one malicious attack.
As a community manager you have a complete file on every tenant in your registry as well as past tenants and applicants waiting for a rental. This means that you probably have records of all their identifying information such as driving licence numbers, bank accounts, bank cards and other data that could literally devastate them if it were leaked. Identity fraud is huge here at home in the UK as well as elsewhere around the globe. The threat wouldn’t necessarily be
The threat wouldn’t necessarily be from a domestic hacker but could come from a person in any country around the world. Small business antivirus software is your best protection and a subscription that keeps it updated regularly is highly recommended. Cyber criminals crack codes by the minute and the minute they develop a virus, the security software goes into effect finding a solution, setting up barriers and once again protecting your computer and all those connected through your network.
Limit Access to Key Personnel
If you are wondering why so much emphasis is being placed on digital/electronic security, the reason is quite clear. Physical threats are readily apparent and more easily dealt with. Cyber theft is carried out with a series of binary codes that work undetected in the background – that is unless you have high-level antivirus software up and running.
Here is where another kind of threat should be mentioned. Many times the malware placed on your computer makes its way to your system over many thousands of miles. Hackers are often found in third world countries where their nation’s internet security is lacking and they can work undetected for long periods of time. Even so, there will come a time when their bits of code are cracked by an antivirus program and the threat is traced back to the hacker.
But the point here is, not all threats come from across the miles. You may have, unbeknownst to your HR team, threats working beside you day after day. Many criminals and identity thieves are able to pass as the boy/girl next door, in fact, they are a neighbour to someone, and these are the most serious threats of all. Having access to all that data puts them in a perfect position to collect personal and financial files on each tenant and this is the information that is sold to the highest bidder, sometimes multiple buyers. With identity theft so rampant in our society, it is best to limit access to these files to only the most trusted of employees.
Beware the Files You Keep on Your System
There is one threat that many small business owners don’t take into consideration when seeing to all the above threats. Most have now employed some sort of digital security system to their grounds and because of this, there are codes that need to be entered to activate and deactivate digital locks as needed. Many businesses make a file of all this information and keep it on their mainframe. This could pose a huge security risk to you and your tenants. All a local criminal needs to get his or her hands on would be those access codes. These should never be kept on your computer and labelled in such a way as to be distinguishable. Don’t make the mistake of labelling this folder “Access Codes” or some such file name.
If possible, opt for security systems that use key cards as opposed to manually entered access codes and if possible, a live security guard and gates at the entrance can offer the ultimate in physical security. When it comes to securing your computer network from cyber criminals, the best antivirus software on the market should always be your first choice. It is far better to spend a few pounds now for that extra security than it would be to compensate loss down the road. As the old saying goes, it’s always “better to be safe than sorry.”
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