GDPR – Why your Data is Safe with Us

Posted by: Katie Piper | Post date: 02.03.18

Because of the nature of what we do, we hold a lot of personal data on the people who use our services and even lots of contact information on people who just enquire about our properties.  As such, we’ve always been really careful about how we store and use this information to not make that data vulnerable to data thieves but with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in May, we’re ensuring that data is super safe.  Here are some of the steps we’re undertaking to make sure we’re GDPR compliant and using our clients’ data in the right way.

Physical Security

We’ve all heard the horror stories of politicians losing laptops full of confidential material or large firms losing memory sticks with millions of people’s details on so we are always very careful with that sort of thing at Lawton and Dawe.  All of our team know not to leave documents with people’s details on out on our desks and we have lockable filing cabinets and cupboards to keep all that material safe from thieves.  We always lock up properly when no one is in the office and no one can come into our office during the day without our knowledge (the dogs would let us know if we hadn’t noticed!).

Basic Electronic Security

Poor network and internet security just isn’t an option for professionals in our industry so we had everything properly password protected and hidden behind firewalls long before these new regulations were announced.  Since we learned about the regulation changes, we reviewed our online and computer based security to make sure all the files stored on our hard drives were encrypted and as secure as possible.  We also reviewed our emailing and communication processes were GDPR compliant.

Cloud Based

Storing lots of information in a secure cloud based file is also helpful as it eliminates any worries we might have about physical security, i.e. computers being stolen, and allows for more secure data sharing, with the clients’ permission of course.

Using Data

Obtaining permission from the person the data is about is another vital part of the new rules.  Previously, many agents used the data they’d gathered from enquiries to sell other products or services and sometimes shared the contacts’ data with mortgage advisors or conveyancing solicitors so they could offer their services too.  With the GDPR, that won’t be possible without the contact’s express permission for the agent to do so.  Although we have never shared anyone’s data with any unnecessary third parties and have always tried not to spam out contacts with information they didn’t ask for, we are now ensuring we ask for everyone’s preferences on what they would like to receive so they will only get the information they really want.

Likewise, with sharing information, which we have to do as part of our services, we are checking that all the companies we deal with have adequate GDPR compliant systems in place and we make sure we are transferring data in the most secure way possible.

This GDPR thing has been a nightmare for some businesses but, as we have always been aware of the importance of protecting people’s personal data, it hasn’t been too onerous a task for us to become compliant.  If you want to work with an estate agent who take equal care in everything we do, call Lawton and Dawe on 01273 917791.