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Data security and compliance

In this chapter, we take a look at data security and compliance within vacation property management software and what to consider when talking with vacation rental software providers.

As a business operator, you are responsible for the security and integrity of your guest’s data. You might not be the one running the servers, but you should always verify that any online services you use follow IT security best practices based on the best practices of the country your properties are in. This includes vacation rental property management software. 

It isn’t just the right thing to do; it also helps your business:

  • Protect customer data from threats
  • Keep backups of important information
  • Stay compliant with industry regulations

Here are some questions you can ask your vendor during the sales process:

1. Where is data being stored?

It’s important to know where the vendor is going to store your data. Some privacy laws have strict policies on where citizen’s user information can be hosted. For example, GDPR regulations demand that personal data of EU citizens be hosted in EU data centres or if being transferred internationally, to an approved “Adequate” end country i.e. the UK. 

2. What cybersecurity measures do you have in place?

Ask the rental property software company to share what processes, policies, and technologies they have set up to protect against cybersecurity threats. Do they encrypt their data? Do they hire a third-party consultant, or do they handle security in-house?

3. Who has access to my data?

What measures are in place to prevent unauthorised access to your and your customer’s information? Can anybody in the company gain access, or are their role-based permissions in place to prevent this?

4.  How do you back up your data?

It’s useful to know what kind of disaster recovery options are in place since most of your transaction and listing data is going to be stored on the vendor’s platform. Ask how often the company backs up their data and what specific information is being saved.

Take careful notes of what you see during reviews and try to verify them when you go through your free trial or demo. 

If you don’t get to talk to a salesperson, try looking at other sources. For instance, each platform’s privacy policy should have information on where data is being stored and what kind of encryption is used. You can also try looking at their online knowledge base. 

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Next chapters

Read more about what you need to look out for when assessing what vacation rental software to buy.