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Protect your real estate information

Guest perspective: Data security is every industry professional's concern

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When people think about information security, they usually associate it with computer security -- something for computer people to worry about. However, many of the highest-profile information security incidents in 2005 were caused by flaws in physical security. For example, Ford Motor Co. notified 70,000 people that their names, addresses and Social Security numbers had been taken by a thief who simply walked off with a computer. Similarly, Time Warner reported the theft of a computer tape containing sensitive information for 600,000 people. Flawed physical security practices put millions of people at risk of identity theft every year. Whether you are a multiple listing service or association executive, broker, Realtor or other real estate professional, you personally should be concerned. If you are an agent or broker, you may store personal and financial information about the consumer and his or her family in your contact management system, in your MLS, or in a physical file. If y...