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A few weeks ago, I got into a conversation at a client I have been working with, around their newly launched self-service portal.
Without naming the RSL in the Midlands, I thought they had made a very good job of it, working with a third party web partner and their HMS provider. Lately I am coming around to the idea that the best self-serve seems to generally involve that kind of mix. Maybe that’s one for another expanded blogpost.
However, I digress.
The client had been pursuing a soft launch, with several hundred customers contacted in the first phase, by email and post. Each customer had been invited to contact the RSL, with the assigned user/reference ID in the communication, to ‘confirm’ their identity.
Getting on for a hundred had been back in contact, but one had caught the organisations eye. One customer had replied to the email, with just about every possible piece of personal data, clearly ‘over’ confirming their identity. There was enough personal data, to probably execute some clear identity theft, a few times over, for what was supplied.
Firstly, the question was, “What’s to be done”?
The respondent had taken the original email quite literally, but perhaps not in the way that most of us, savvy internet users, might respond. Clearly the original communication should have stated that ‘There is no need to supply personal data by email, please phone us on xxxxxxx, so we can supply your password etc…’. Also, as banks often do, a statement about ‘not disclosing certain personal details’, should also be a feature.
Secondly, how should this particular resident be handled?
A peek at the RSL’s Housing Management System, might reveal if this is perhaps an older (perhaps naive) resident, or perhaps one with known vulnerabilities. Clearly, a member of housing or scheme staff, needs to have a conversation with this resident to explain how we need to keep secure on-line and also what is the appropriate way to respond and validate requests for personal data.
Getting tenants, residents and other customers signed up for self-service is a challenge for all in socialhousing. Much like those clever Aussies back in 2015, maybe RSLs can offer cyber security sessions, which becomes the Trojan Horse, followed by a smooth sign up of their resident portal? An interesting thought eh?
Interestingly, this RSL was already collaborating with a local college, to enable sessions at different schemes, with residents to help them get online safely and then move to doing business with their landlord online too.
Consider if this may work for your organisation. This may restrain some of your residents ‘Giving Everything’ to the bad guys out there, in cyberspace.
Related Post: Ever thought there was a better, more holistic way to manage patches?
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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