Latest News

Energy Efficiency PRS Regulations in Scotland on hold again

15 January 2021

The Scottish Government has today, 15 January, announced the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Standards that were to come into law in April 2021, with the first standard requiring properties to have a minimum EPC rating D for new tenancies from April 2022, have again been postponed. Read More...

New building safety regulators proposed for Wales

15 January 2021

The Welsh Government’s Building Safety White Paper covers all multi-occupied residential buildings, from houses converted into flats through to high rise apartment blocks. It sets out major reforms to how properties are designed, built, managed, and lived in whilst proposing clear lines of accountability and a stronger regulatory system. Read More...

Support growing for Fire Safety Bill amendments that add protection for leaseholders

15 January 2021

In November, the House of Lords passed an amendment to the UK Government’s Fire Safety Bill making changes to the current legislation to protect leaseholders from having to pay for historical fire safety remedial work, including the removal of dangerous cladding. Read More...

Tightened restrictions for working from home and in people’s homes

13 January 2021

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced today, 13 January, six new changes to COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland to come into force on Saturday, 16 January, subject to Parliament approval. Among these changes are statutory guidance on working from home and a limitation on working within other people's homes by law. Read More...

Data protection guidance for remote working

Monday 23 March 2020

With a vast majority of people in the property industry working remotely and whilst individual safety is at the top of their priorities, agents and business owners must also be aware of the safety of their data during the crisis.

Ensure all security protection is up to date

Home-working employees may have security software installed at a device level, however, it is imperative that this and device encryption, firewalls and web filtering is too. Business owners offering employees to work from home should provide devices that meet this criterion or check other devices used are meeting the requirements.

As part of company IT policies employees should also make sure any updates required are done regularly if this isn’t done as standard. Make use of network monitoring software.

If software is used to monitor the security of a network this will help to identify any potential threats. By monitoring any problems caused by overloaded or crashed servers, or network connections, it is just another way to ensure that systems are secure for remote workers. Keeping network security to a maximum will help to continue to keep cybercriminals out.

Keep mobile devices and laptops safe

Lost and stolen mobile devices and laptops are easy pickings for cybercriminals if insufficient security measures are in place. The first line of defence is to look after them - always keep them in sight when in use, and never leave them in a vehicle.

Who’s watching?

Working from home is a very different setup to the usual office environment, family members, flatmates, and even pets can pose a data security risk that may not have been considered.

An inquisitive child or pet could cause problems – make sure devices are locked if left unattended, and out of reach at other times.

Any phone calls or online team meetings shouldn’t be overheard, particularly if the work being discussed is business-critical or sensitive. Make sure the user is the only one who can see the screen.

Password hygiene

Strong passwords will protect business systems if a device is lost or stolen. They also protect businesses from cybercrime. Good password hygiene and best practice includes using multi-character passwords, two-factor authentication, and not re-using passwords.

Email encryption

Encryption and robust management of corporate email is a must. Both the company and the individual have a role to play. Making sure the network is secure, using systems such as Mimecast, is key, but staff must also be aware of email best practice. This includes spotting scam emails, what data must not be sent by email, and email etiquette.

Removable devices

USBs and other removable devices can contain malware and should be checked first. Many USBs that are given away free or obtained from an event may be infected, often unbeknown to those providing them. Never plug an unknown or shared USB into a computer. Use facilities such as Sharepoint for sharing information.

Personal Data

If it is necessary to take personal data home, ensure it is in a lockable storage unit. Do not leave any paperwork in a vehicle or lying around in the home, it must be locked away securely at all times.

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

Propertymark offers online training and members can access our fact sheet and checklist. Our legal helpline is also there to assist.

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