How to Prevent and Detect Business Identity Theft
We’ve all heard of identity theft, we all know someone who has been affected by it and some of us have been unlucky enough to have been the victims ourselves. Unfortunately in these times we have all had to learn to be really careful with our personal information to help prevent identity theft. Banks and retailers have been forced to implement increasingly sophisticated security measures to protect their customers and stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.
But now, there’s a new threat in the marketplace revealing itself – that of business identify theft. This is a very real problem for small and medium enterprises, particularly ones that may not have the budget to protect themselves as much as they should. Criminals have been obtaining company details and masquerading as them in order to obtain credit, and go on a spending spree. Victims have only discovered there’s a problem once it’s far too late, and the criminals have obtained computers, vehicles, office equipment and anything else that has a cash resale value.
So how do you protect your company from this happening? Burying your head in the sand is not an option as business identity theft is on the increase. Don’t make it easy for them and don’t play into their hands. Staying one step ahead is the only way to ensure you are not another statistic in the growing trend of identity theft. We recommend you do the following things as soon as possible to protect your company from being the next victim of identity theft:
Review Your Security
Is your company doing everything it can to keep all sensitive information completely confidential? Identify areas for improvement and implement a team within your company to task with upping your security procedures against identity theft. Draw up a document that details your processes and have it regularly checked and reviewed.
Keep Critical Information Under Lock And Key
You should be shredding all unnecessary paperwork and securely filing paper you need to keep. Criminals will go through any rubbish that is left out for the bin men so make sure that there is nothing left in there that could compromise your security and lead to identity theft. Remember to make sure every filing cabinet is locked when not in use and task the last person that leaves the premises with checking everything is secure before they go.
Tighten Your Online Security
A criminal does not even need to enter your premises in order to obtain the information they want from you. Your online filing system should be password protected and every single email account should have a password too. Make sure passwords are changed every week and not easily guessed.
Monitor Your Credit Reports
Keep a keen eye on all money coming into and going out of the business. If this seems an impossible task, you can hand over the monitoring to a dedicated company who will alert you the minute anything suspicious happens on your account.
Don’t Use A ‘Master Account’
If a fraudster obtains one of your staff’s login details the chances are that they will be limited to the amount of information they can gain access to, as long as you have set the right security measures to the login. However, if the identity thief obtains a master login with no limit on access there is no end to the damage that they can cause. The only way to avoid this altogether is to do away with the ‘master login’ and set separate security levels for every single member of staff.
Have a contingency plan ready for if you are targeted by identity thieves – and be ready to act fast to mitigate any damage should the worst happen.
About the author:
Laura writes for http://www.realbusinessrescue.co.uk. She loves writing articles related to business security.
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