A Homeowner Association (HOA) “is an organization of property owners that administers the rules and upholds the covenants of a subdivision, development or condominium complex,” according to How Stuff Works.
Managing a homeowner association is a big job. Board members of a homeowner association must invest many hours learning the specific rules and regulations that govern the specific community. Many associations have chosen to make their job of homeowner association management easier by utilizing specific software designed specifically for such a purpose.
Since much of the data managed within this type of software program contains financial or other confidential data, it is important that the program used fits the specific needs of the homeowner association and meets basic standards for security.
HOA management software should be reliable.
Any HOA management software selected should be well researched. Search online reviews for customer satisfaction and experience with the software. Consider contacting other homeowner associations to see what type of management software they use and whether they are happy with it.
HOA management software should have stellar customer service.
When dealing with customers, or in this case, homeowners, it is important to have customer assistance to ensure that any issues that may arise will be resolved quickly and accurately. Investigate what ways of communication are available for their customer service or troubleshooting department, how long the average wait time is, and what their service hours are.
HOA management software should provide more than sufficient security measures.
The safety protocols needed for managing association information change over time. Any information stored within the software program should be encrypted. This way, if the information is intercepted for someone for whom it is not intended, they won’t be able to make sense of it.
Additionally, it has been shown that the most secure way to store data is to spread it across multiple servers. This way, if someone were to gain access to one of the servers, they will not be able to obtain all of the information.
HOA management software should be used on secure computers.
The most secure homeowner association management software cannot prevent a security breach on your own computer or electronic device. In order to protect the data on your end, be sure to have appropriate firewalls and antivirus software on your devices.
Firewalls make your computer more difficult to be hacked from a remote location. Antivirus software helps protect your computer from malware, which can give a hacker access to your computer, often without your knowledge.
Additionally, be sure that you keep your passwords secure. Do not share passwords and do not use passwords that are easily guessed. Most security experts recommend that passwords are changed every 90 days. Consider using a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special symbols.
HOA management software should be physically secure.
Although most often overlooked, ensuring that the physical location of computers and servers are secure is another way to protect the information of your clients. Keep the server in a locked area with limited access. Additionally, keep computers or other devices in a locked, secure location.