Cottage to Castle  - Peace of mind while you're away....

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Keeping Client Information Secure


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Keeping Client Information Secure

Jack and I were walking into the Lely Resort sales office to get a new map of Lely and found a keyring.  There was over 40 keys on it, all labeled very nicely.  It was obvious to us that it was the key ring of a home watch person.  Each key was labeled with a name and address.  Jack and I looked at each other, so astonished we couldn't say anything for a space of time.  The implications of our find silenced us!

We turned the keys in to the sales office in case the home watch person came back looking for them, but what if someone else had found them and realized they now had access to all these clients homes?  While most of our clients have an alarm system that includes monitoring that is paid in their association dues, many do not activate it.  Me?  If I'm paying for something, I'm going to take advantage of!  But many clients feel they are in a gated community and safe from any kind of intrusion.  Watching the local news, we know that is not true.  You can lock bad people out, but you can also lock bad people in.  Most communities do not require a background check on buyers, and you have no idea who is purchasing that home or condo next door.  So, if you have an alarm system, have it activated.  Go one step further and have anyone that has access to your home have their own code.  Then, if something does happen, you can see who has been to your home and when.  It will help the sheriff narrow down a search for the bad guy.

Back to the keys...we do NOT label our client keys in any way that can be tracked back to their name or address.  Keeping our clients homes safe includes not letting the wrong person have access to a clients home and our key system would not give anyone even a hint of what unit or home our keys go to.  We could lose our keys and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one finding them would ever guess where they go.

Also, we do not carry all our keys around with us all the time.  We have our keys separated by community and only take the keys that we will need on any given day.  If something should come up and we don't have a key we need, then we drive all the way back to the office to get it.  The communities are not labeled for added security.

What about cell phones?  Most business people have Smartphones nowadays.  We are no exception and I don't know what I would do without mine, even though I resisted mightily getting one.  It is amazing the amount of information you can keep in it.  We do not keep our clients last names on our phones.  No matter how many clients we have, we know them and don't need their last name on our phones as a reminder of who they are.  We have the address of their unit or home on our phone.  That can't be helped.  No matter how good a memory we have, we can't remember everyone's address.  While we know exactly where we are going, some communities have guards that want the address, so we do keep their local address in our phones, but we don't have their primary home address on them.  We do keep one or two phone numbers in case we need to call them in an emergency, but crooks aren't usually interested in calling!

In addition, both our phones on Auto-lock if the phone hasn't been used in some way after one minute.  Once it goes to sleep, you have to have a code to re-open the phone.  While this is kind of annoying (we all want instant access!), it is critical should our phone become lost or stolen.  Anyone finding it has to have the code to unlock the phone and the phone automatically wipes its memory after 3 incorrect pass code tries.

Keeping client information safe when you are out and about is so critical.  Make sure your home watch company (if it isn't us...hehe) isn't putting you at risk! 

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