Bail Bondsmen and Data Security: How to Protect Your Client Information
- November 13, 2018
- by Collateral Staff
- Business Tips
Bail bondsmen are paying more attention to data security after recent losses of client information. Although bail bondsmen are not typically held to the same standards of confidentiality as doctors, lawyers or financial institutions, recent incidents have called attention to the need for stiffer security standards when it comes to client information.
Recently, bail bondsmen have been criticized in the news for their negligence of security regarding client information. In Seattle, several unsuspecting bondsmen disclosed clients' personal information to criminals who were posing as law enforcement officials. After gaining this sensitive information, the conmen then contacted the clients and requested more money in relation to their recent bail bond process.
According to Alex Price, a nationally recognized expert on the art of skip tracing and cyber tracking, situations such as this demonstrate why there is a strong need for bail bondsmen to implement security policies.
"We all deal with sensitive data in our day-to-day activities-from customer applications, to internal files, to data retrieved from the net," Price said. "We are all charged to be good stewards of this data, and if we aren't we can lose that privilege."
Price said that mistakes like the one made in by bondsmen in Seattle could have been prevented by having some simple office security policies in place. He also said by safeguarding clients' information with these policies, not only would daily functions of business be enhanced, but they will also give bail bondsmen peace of mind.
So what can bail agents do to keep client information safe? Below are some examples of the policies and procedures that Price recommends to protect clients' sensitive data:
- Develop formal and documented security policies, standards, plans, and procedures.
- Have written policies or standards regarding data privacy, internet access and use, encryption, incident management, and external communication devices and removable media, signed by all staff members.
- Restrict your staff's access to information and technology based on job description.
- Establish a process for granting and documenting system access including, but not limited to, access for third parties and remote access.
- Disable user names and passwords associated with employees who are terminated or transferred.
- Prevent removing secure information or related assets (storage media, hardware) from the premises.
- Install security cameras inside and outside of areas associated with access to secured data.
- Equip all doors and windows of your business with an alarm system.
Price said that he has heard many horror stories during his travels of how failing to protect the data can be a costly mistake. By taking a few precautions and implementing security policies, the worst of these mistakes could have been avoided.
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