5 Things to Do to Avoid Business/Business Owners Identity Theft
Posted: Feb 08, 2016
It hurts your customers. It’s estimated that one out of every 20 consumers are at risk of having their identity stolen. It hurts your business. When a business or business owner’s identity is stolen a thief usually has a higher credit limit to help him or her go on a buying spree. You need to protect your customers and yourself.
1. You Need Two Plans.
You probably have a business plan to grow your bottom line; you need more. First, develop a protection plan. Know how you are going to protect sensitive information. Know how you are going to protect computer data. Know which employees can see, handle and deal with what. That’s one plan. The next plan you need is what you will do if you find out your security has been breached – whether it’s a data leak or outright identity theft. How will you contain the damage?
2. Protect Documents.
Have sensible precautions in place and monitor them. It can be as simple as not leaving a folder on a desk when the employee goes to lunch or not putting papers you no longer need in a wastepaper basket. Never provide your company’s federal tax identification number, financials or bank statements to anyone but a trusted employee and train them on how to protect the information. Shred documents when they are no longer needed; a micro shredder is recommended. Consider hiring an on-site shredding company. They will make sure your process meets any necessary standards and they’ll provide locked bins to keep papers secure before they are destroyed.
3. Be Smart With Credit Cards.
You need to give your employees a means to buy things for the company, pay their travel expenses, etc., etc. Consider giving them prepaid business cards instead of a traditional credit card. You can set limits; deactivate them easily and even limit where they can be used. If the card is lost or stolen, you are better protected.
4. Protect Your Computers And Online Information.
If a computer is used for sensitive purposes or it’s a laptop that an employee takes home, consider encryption. Done with a computer? Destroy the hard drive. Never send personal information such as EIN or social security numbers, financial documents, etc. via email. Never post them on a site. If you are using a financial cite, make sure the site is secure and the security certificate is current.
5. Monitor and Check.
Online does have its advantages! Check your bank accounts for unusual use or withdrawals. Keep track of credit card charges. You can catch a problem or fraudulent use more quickly if you make these usual habits. Also monito your business credit reports with all 3 credit bureaus. You can subscribe to a service to do this for you, and they will protect you in real time.
Don’t take chances. Put good procedures in place. Plan to keep information safe and to mitigate a breach as quickly as possible. Hire a professional on-site Paper Shredding Phoenix company and establish strong rules that your employees put anything remotely sensitive into the locked bin they’ll provide – not a wastebasket. Work to protect your customers and their information. Make sure you do everything possible to keep your good name yours – and yours alone.
A graduate in Marketing and Sociology, Chad is a writer at heart. Writing allows him to utilize his skills honed by years of experience. Read more of what he writes to find out what he thinks about this beautiful world we are in.