In recent years, technology has profoundly changed our businesses and our everyday lives. We have all developed a greater reliance on portable technology, accessing much-needed data within an instant.
Consequentially, property software has had to undergo a massive renovation process to meet the increasing demands of on-the-go Britain, but, as technology moves into ‘the cloud’, a significant new concern, for many agents, is data security. The issues surrounding data security are changing as rapidly as our use of these new technologies – so rapidly in fact, that most of us don’t even appreciate what the issues – current and potential – are.
What can property software providers do?
As one of the leading software providers in the UK, the Property Software Group (PSG) is all too aware of the need to stay one step ahead with technology, delivering accessible cloud-based software with a primary focus on data security.
The issues are changing so rapidly, most of us don’t even appreciate what they are – or may be.”
Within the PSG, Jupix has a focus on delivering innovative, secure software to thousands of agents throughout the UK. Peter Butterworth, Product Manager at Jupix says, “The security of the Jupix platform, together with agency data, has always and will continue to be a top priority, constantly striving to be more vigilant and one step ahead in a world of ever-changing security concerns. “As dedicated cloud-based property software providers, it is the duty of the suppliers to deliver secure, safe and reliable software to agents. Through Jupix and other leading PSG products such as Alto, Vebra, Core and CFP, agents are safe in the knowledge that their data is housed in highly secure data centres, with sophisticated disaster recovery infrastructures working in real time to offer 100 per cent failover in the event of any service disruption.”
What can agents do?
“We wouldn’t leave our office without locking the door and setting the alarm, so make sure you take similar precautionary measures when accessing your property software,“ says Peter, who has provided a number of helpful security techniques you can make in order to help protect your data held within your chosen software:
1 Use strong passwords. The strength of a password depends on its length, complexity and unpredictability.
• Use a minimum password length of 12 characters.
• Include lowercase and uppercase alphabetic characters, numbers and symbols.
• Generate passwords randomly where feasible. Avoid using information that your colleagues and/or acquaintances might know to be associated with you, especially elements of your name or username.
• Avoid using the same password twice (e.g., across multiple user accounts and/or software systems).
• Avoid character repetition, keyboard patterns, dictionary words, letter or number sequences, usernames, relative or pet names, romantic links (current or past) and biographical information (e.g., ID numbers, ancestors’ names or dates).
• Avoid using information that is or might become publicly associated with you.
• Do not use passwords which consist wholly of any simple combination of the aforementioned weak components.
2 Never share logins/passwords. To ensure individual accountability it is recommended not to share your login credentials to any application, otherwise you will also become accountable for the behaviour and actions of others.
3 Change your password regularly. By changing your password on a periodic basis you limit the chance of others discovering its logic. Most people have a method to creating passwords so by cycling this you lower the risk.
4 Never write it down. It’s so tempting and many people still do this, but writing down your passwords exposes you to risk and can be easy pickings for someone with bad intent.
5 Use virus protection software. If you do not protect your computer properly from viruses, you may be at risk of others gaining access to your system or allowing them to capture your information without you even knowing.
6 Ensure your computer is password protected. This affects all your applications and files on your computer.
7 Put your computer to sleep. Never leave your computer logged in where others can access it when you step away. A simple solution is to ensure you put your computer to ‘sleep’.
As technology continues to advance, awareness and diligence in taking care of your property data is more vital than ever. Your software provider should be in touch regularly with updates in software security to ensure that your data will remains safe.
Digital security is a continuously evolving requirement and a major consideration for any modern business; make sure your agency takes it seriously.