Tip #269: Going Mobile
If you’re like many modern landlords, you conduct some of your business with your smart phone or tablet. What you may not be aware of is how your Android, iPhone or iPad could open you up to potential dangers.
Hackers can sneak into your phone or tablet just like they can your PC. Because a landlord is liable for keeping their tenants’ sensitive information secure and private, it’s important to keep hackers from breaking in to a phone or tablet, just like it is on your PC.
Here are a couple simple ways to keep your information, and your tenants’, safe on your mobile devices:
Stay away from public Wi-Fi hotspots like coffee shops, etc. Thieves quickly can hack information in these areas. It’s even easier if you save all your passwords to your browser. Play it safe and just fill in the password manually. It’s strongly recommended that you never save the passwords for private applications such as your banking.
There are services, such as hotspotshield.com, that will set you up with a virtual private network (VPN). This will make things a lot more secure if you must use public Wi-FI.
Keep the wireless off completely when not in use. If you’re not connected to the Internet, you are not connected to thieves. It’s a lot like locking the door while your gone.
If you’re worried about being tracked, you may also want to disable the GPS.
Look into some anti-theft software such as apps that offer a remote wipe or locate your phone. This will be a lifesaver if your phone is ever lost or stolen. Remember to install apps from trusted sources only.
It’s convenient to have all your business right there on your smart phone or tablet. But you might think about playing it safe by keeping a dedicated iPad or PC for the bulk of your property management needs, and not risk hackers or phone thieves while you’re out and about.
See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for all your property management needs. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.