The FTC has set forth the following five key principles for businesses to follow when creating a data security program:
- Take Stock. Know what personal information you have in your files and on your computers.
- Scale down. Keep only what you need for your business.
- Pitch it. Properly dispose of what you no longer need.
- Lock it. Protect the information that you keep.
- Plan ahead. Create a plan to respond to security incidents.
PRACTICE TIP: If your brokerage does not have a legitimate business need for personal identifying information – then don’t collect it. If there is a legitimate business need for the information, then keep it only as long as it’s necessary. Once that business need is over, then properly dispose of it.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members active in all aspects of the real estate industry.