Beware of online lease applications

The image is a screenshot (click to enlarge) of the first page – of five – of the online application for a high-rise apartment building in downtown Chicago managed by a major company.

As you can see, it solicits you to provide your name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number, driver’s license number, and home, office and cell phone numbers. Subsequent pages request information concerning employment, income, current and previous landlords, etc.

By the time you complete the online application you will have supplied enough personal information to make an identity thief squeal with joy. And then you’ll fire off the application through an unencrypted, insecure Internet connection.

You’ll only do that, of course, if you’re a complete idiot or clueless about the Internet.

One can only hope that the landlord doesn’t have an equally cavalier approach to security in its buildings.

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