Many community associations consider a website a must-have component for their operations. But while websites are great for community associations when it comes to connecting with residents and making information readily available for them, they can also pose a great risk when it comes to sensitive data.
About 62 percent of all data breaches are small to mid-sized enterprises, including HOAs, shining a light on risks of operating a website for community association members.
Here are some of the risks of operating an association website and how they can be reduced or avoided altogether.
HOA Insurance Coverage
Before any website is constructed and any members log in, HOA’s should make sure their HOA insurance coverage is up to date. Having HOA insurance coverage, such as Cyber Liability protection, provides an organization the financial backing during any claims period or going through something like a data breach.
With our online footprint becoming bigger and more influential, having HOA insurance coverage in place will help to reduce the risk of paying out major losses following a setback like a breach.
Why Association Websites Are Becoming More Common
In certain states, like Texas, the call for HOA websites is growing louder as legislation may mandate that associations have open meetings. If there isn’t a live website, which can provide notice of a meeting, then the next thing is to mail out information, which can take up to two weeks in advance. And mail can become lost, not get to members in time, and just all around miss the mark after a meeting is already done.
To alleviate this kind of mix up, and to avoid having to post physical signs, associations are developing their own websites to act as more available and reachable community posting boards. But with this kind of online presence comes risk, naturally.
Risks and How to Manage Them
Websites for community associations can host a myriad of content and information, which only boosts the potential for online thievery from bad actors. Any sort of information can be taken, distorted, and used against the originator. When it comes to financial information, which some boards have been known to do, this is putting everyone in harm’s way.
Another area of concern is related to the inclusion of an open forum. If an HOA website is used as an information-only destination, there typically aren’t any problems. But creating a most social media-like website, with opportunities for members to share their thoughts and leave comments and connect with others, is only asking for controversies to happen.
One way these issues can be avoided is to focus on the more community-driven information, such as meetings, agendas, calendar events, and management staff within an HOA. Keeping interaction and information limited but still useful serves a website’s entire purpose of being a landing page for information and not a liability.
About Kevin Davis Insurance Services
For over 35 years, Kevin Davis Insurance Services has built an impressive reputation as a strong wholesale broker offering insurance products for the community association industry. Our president Kevin Davis and his team take pride in offering committed services to the community association market and providing them with unparalleled access to high-quality coverage, competitive premiums, superior markets, and detailed customer service. To learn more about the coverage we offer, contact us toll-free at (877) 807-8708 to speak with one of our representatives.