Security is always one of our highest priorities. We know that thousands of communities count on us to keep their member information, files, and private content secure. That's a responsibility we don't take lightly.
As a result, we've employed many techniques that meet or exceed industry standards, including quite a few measures used for bank-level security. We'll summarize some of them below, by technique.
We encrypt all traffic to our community websites with SSL encryption, a crucial measure that prevents many common forms of stolen data. Although others charge extra or overlook this necessity entirely, we enable SSL completely free for every community website. We go into more detail about this security feature in this help article about our use of SSL encryption.
We enable HSTS on all community websites. It's a modern security technique that protects against even highly sophisticated attempts to steal data from your users, by requiring browsers to always use SSL for connections to your website.
Behind the scenes, in our data storage systems, we encrypt important personal data. This means that if it's ever intercepted or falls into the wrong hands, it will be useless without the means to decrypt it.
Data hashing is like encryption, except it's one-way. We use this primarily for passwords, secrets, and certain API keys. That means that if hashed data falls into the wrong hands, it's impossible to convert back into its original form.
Our authentication system uses a variety of account protection techniques, including (but not limited to) account locking mechanisms, aggressive API key expiration, multiple brute-force countermeasures, and stolen account detection. These details are relatively technical, but you can be confident we do everything possible on our end to keep your member information safe.
Many companies require users to simply meet a list of requirements for passwords... some number of uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers, special characters, etc. While this simple method can help nudge people toward more secure passwords, it's also a vulnerable technique. We don't take shortcuts when it comes to security, so we calculate the mathematical entropy of passwords and require that to meet a secure threshold. This calculation is a true measure of how difficult the password is to crack and isn't susceptible to permitting insecure passwords.
Additionally, we places no limits on how long a password can be or what characters it can use. These types of limits serve only to reduce the strength of passwords.
Email scraping protection
We employ multiple layers of cutting-edge email scraping counter measures. These serve to protect published email addresses from falling into the hands of bots, scammers, and spammers.
Email spoofing prevention
We implement strict SPF policies and strong DKIM records for our company domain and every community website domain to prevent email addresses from being spoofed. In other words, you can be confident that emails that come from @hoa-express.com or @yourcommunity.com were not sent by spammers.
We protect publicly available contact forms from bot submissions by utilizing a number of intelligent detection mechanisms.
We run automated tests before deploying any change to make sure all our security features work exactly as intended. This allows us to confidently make improvements to our system without worrying about accidentally breaking a security feature.
Our product team has designed highly secure workflows to ensure user details, infrastructure secrets, and other sensitive information remains safe. This includes limiting which team members have access to private information and keeping secrets from being handled by unnecessary third parties, among many other techniques.
Security conscious vendor selection
We only work with companies that care as much about security as we do. We'll never utilize companies who do not maintain excellent reputations.
Content restriction settings
An important form of data security is controlling who can see content, and who cannot. Our interface gives administrators the ability to set detailed content restrictions. Limit pages and files to:
- just approved accounts
- just certain account types (e.g. homeowners)
- just a custom group of members (e.g. board members)
- just one or two specific people
- not one or two specific people
...you can see where this is going—the options are limitless. On top of that, we've built in considerable security measures to make sure that the chosen restrictions are enforced.
Members can choose their own privacy preferences, allowing them to control what information other members and visitors see on the website. For instance, they can hide information from the community directory if preferred. They can also choose what contact information is displayed if they're a leader within the community (e.g. board or committee member), and what information remains private.
Backing up data
This security measure doesn't have to do with protecting you from stolen data; rather, it protects your community from lost data. We back up all data (including members, pages, files, and much, much more) on a regular basis throughout the day. Learn more by reading our help article about how we keep your data safe from loss or corruption.
So much more
While this list seems extensive, it's only a partial list of the ways we keep your data safe and secure at HOA Express. If you ever have or discover a security concern though, please immediately contact our customer success team and we'll quickly handle the matter.