Data Security is the latest buzz word around with moral outrage at its peak over the FaceBook data sharing incident where 87 million records were used by Cambridge Analytica for use in Election campaigns. We pass no moral judgement but let’s take a step back and have a look in our backyard!
If you consider that your data is yours, then it’s your responsibly to reduce the risk of your data being compromised. The buck stops with you. At SiteLink we have invested in layers of security to protect your data. Our servers are of the highest security and our servers are penetration tested by third party independent companies regularly.
Our leading certifications add even more data security. PCI-DSS level one Certification is as high as any financial intuition. We have strict enforceable guidelines for data that must pass between integrations for website and gate systems to function.
Data security is an issue that we are all responsible for and here is a checklist for you to test your own data security standards at your Self Storage site:
Passwords and security levels
Passwords are the foundation of data security. Understanding that dumb passwords like “Password, 12345, Your own name” etc are just dumb and can be easily hacked. Use Case sensitive letters and numbers. Pass Phrases are much easier to remember and almost impossible to hack. Here is an example, HSVGTS427Holden. This password if you are a car nut is easy to remember but hard to crack. Or try something like SydneyisGr8today. Easy pass phrases work and are simpler than passwords to remember. We all must have multiple passwords for everything we do. How do you store them? Well, the piece of paper is not secure, the note in your diary is not secure. Using a professional password system like www.lastpass.com
You can argue that we should not have to go to this effort, but its hard to argue against large companies that secure data in much more robust ways when we don’t do it ourselves.
SiteLink Web Edition has many layers of data protection, Corporate code, site code, user name and password are the basics. Change your password regularly. Ensure that personnel in your organisation have the correct security level and access to information in line with their authority.
Enforcing a log on for certain tasks adds a little bit more time to a Transaction, adding security and accountability. PCI-DSS Security standards call for 7-digit passwords that must be changed every 90 days, reducing risk at the site. Staff may not like the extra effort, but security does take effort that is worthwhile.
Internet and computer security
All internet is served in your Self Storage business by a Gateway or modem router. These have passwords and they have firewalls. A firewall is like a pegboard – it only lets data through open ports that have been opened by applications. Port 80 is the common one for browsers and internet access. CCTV Systems, gate systems and remote access tools open more ports. Use this tool on your own IP address to see what ports are open on your gateway: https://mxtoolbox.com/portscan.aspx/
Only have the ports open that are needed. Ask a IT pro to help you with this if you are not sure. Make sure you change the default password on the Gateway.
Does your computer start up without a password? What if someone steals it? What if you walk away from your screen to help a Storer and someone accesses your computer? Your computer should have a password. CTR +L will lock your Windows 10 screen. Basic security. If you leave the office, lock the door!
Don’t leave notebooks or tablets in your car. If you must put them in the boot under a mat. If your car is stolen, then change all passwords as soon as possible.
SiteLink Web Edition can restrict access by IP (computer address) to prevent use from outside the office or a even a country. The setup allows for the entry of a IP range, giving real control over computers accessing your data
Websites and Social Media
When you visit a new website, more than likely you will have a log on or will need to create an account. If you have followed our tips, you will have a strong email password. If, in the example below, you log in with Google rather than your own email address, you are agreeing to share certain data with the website and the tool you are using to authenticate your log in with.
Data sharing is here to stay and for the most part it has delivered convenience. We all struggle remembering passwords and it’s an effortless way to log on using your FaceBook or Google account. Every time you to this you are sharing data. Overall, data sharing can work to target information in a way that benefits you. When you see targeted content, mainly ads this is because data sharing has served ads that meet your interest. Right or wrong its not going to go away.
Review what you post on Social Media. Understand that when you post, many will see what you have posted, and they can share that content. If you don’t want stuff to be shared, don’t post it. Participating in FaceBook competitions and answering posts like “your trapped on an Island and you only have one Storage space left and 3 customers, who do you rent it to” posts are all designed to profile you. Resist the temptation.
Office and Vehicle security
It’s dumb to think that all data is online. In the old days of paper, sensitive information was printed and stored in filing cabinets. If you still have documents, they should be behind lock and key. And put the key in a safe place and that’s not in the top draw!
Recently, a Canadian Self Storage business had one of their employees with boxes of company documents inside their car stolen. The documents were not recovered. Equally if you are running a Self Storage business, you cannot afford to lose your customer records. Keeping documents backed up by scanning them and storing them online is the best way to protect yourself from disaster. www.dropbox.com is a good example of a tool to store general records but SiteLink has functionality to store leases and associated documents in the eSign™ console. SiteLink eSignTM provides lease auditing and a legally binding electronic signature for SiteLink Web Edition software, websites, call centres and more. SiteLink eSignTM is a FREE service included in your SiteLink Web Edition software subscription. Tenants can sign lease, letters and forms from anywhere using a signature pad, mouse, keyboard, or a finger/stylus and touchscreen, like a smartphone or tablet.
The documents are stored online securely for 7 years after the tenant vacates.
Disasters like fire can strike at any time. Could you recover if your Self Storage office was burned to the ground or flooded? Digital documentation offers piece of mind.
Do you leave your office unattended? Then you are asking for data loss if someone accesses your office if you are not around. Lock your door and log off your computer and lock your records up.
Credit Cards, Online Transactions and bogus emails
We all use Credit Cards. Do you secure your PIN number? Do you change it regularly? If you use your credit card to pay online, check that the site is secure. The web address of the page for payments should start with www.https:// if it does not, then don’t use the site. Your transaction cannot be secure.
Web companies work hard to secure credit card transactions and changing your PIN regularly will help the fight against identity theft.
Every day we all receive dumb emails asking for credit cards, email verification and much more. Often these emails entice you to click on a link. Don’t do it. Ignore them and delete them. The businesses that you use all have communication policies, including the government, so if you’re not sure, contact them.
Do not write customers credit card numbers down on pieces of paper or on forms. Enter them into the software directly, once saved they are encrypted. Credit card numbers are not stored locally on the sites PC if they are entered directly into SiteLink Web Edition. Do not store credit card authority forms with leases. The forms should not contain customers credit card numbers.
Data security starts with you at Self Storage Store level. It is easy to criticise others, we see it every day, “XYZ Corporation accused of data breach” and we all ask – “how could this happen?” for them, their data breaches are never intentional; the breach is always a breakdown of a system that was in place.
How about your systems? Have you got your passwords sorted? Have you got a system in place? Do you even take data security seriously?
SiteLink Web Edition is the most secure software in the Self Storage industry.
Having a personal data security policy for you and your Self Storage business is an essential idea.
Use our checklist and your data has the great chance of being protected.