Email Security as a Board Concern: Two Views Once That Sensitive Info Gets Out There, You Can’t Take It Back

Boards need to be cognizant of the ramifications of email use and its potential pitfalls (iStock).

As we’ve recently seen in the news--from the Democratic National Committee email leaks about Bernie Sanders from last year’s presidential election, to the latest  in the Trump-Russia brouhaha--emails aren’t always the safest and securest method of communication. And once that sensitive information gets out there, you can’t take it back. So what does that mean for co-op and condo boards and their members?  Here are two perspectives.

Board Experience

Boards need to be cognizant of the ramifications of email use and its potential pitfalls.  Perhaps the most critical is the protection of confidential information, particularly purchaser packages distributed to board members for applicants seeking to buy an apartment.  These packages contain a high level of super-confidential purchaser information.

Kimberley Overs is an attorney and board member of a pre-war co-op on Manhattan’s East Side. Her co-op leverages technology to protect personal information included in purchase applications.  “We used to get physical copies of the board packages and we no longer do,” she says.   

They never used email for distribution of board packages.  “Now we access purchase applications on-line through a password protected portal provided by our managing agent,” says Overs.  “This eliminates risks associated with the distribution of hard copies by the managing agent.”

Furthermore, based on her experience as a board member, she says that email is not an appropriate channel for transmitting sensitive personal information, essentially financial information, and recommends that discussions of purchase applications should be in person or by phone. 

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