Corporate or business identity theft is a type of fraud involving the criminal act of impersonation of a business in illegal manner. Unlike consumer frauds where personal information is lost, business identity theft is generally a much larger affair that often trickles down to affect the clients as well as employees of a business.
It is important to note that all businesses can fall prey to business identity theft regardless of their legal status or size. Therefore, even if you have high-end security software or trust your employees completely, the risk of identity theft can’t be ruled out.
Prevention of identity theft is critical for any business because it can very easily cause loss of financial resources and reputation of the business. When a business suffers from identity theft, it could also jeopardise the livelihood of the employees and customers who have put their trust on the company. In the worst case, it may lead to serious legal complications for the organisation.
Business owners can protect their business from identity theft by implementing the measures discussed below.
- Mail theft is a common entry point for fraudsters looking to steal information related to your business. These offenders attack businesses by targeting their credit card bills, bank statements, human resource files, and other sensitive mails. One of the best ways to counter this problem is to go paperless. It is true that going paperless is not possible for most of the businesses. However, a major vulnerability can be eliminated by transitioning to digital accounting and statements.
- It can’t be denied that even in today’s digital age, many businesses can’t do without maintaining paper based records. Records that can be used to compromise the business, its customers, and employees should be stored in an extremely secure manner.
- After securing your paper based documents, turn attention to your digital assets. Some of the best practices you may make use of include using strong firewalls, VPN for outside access, secure offsite data storage, scheduled virus and malware scans, automatic software updates, secured wireless networks, control access, digital training for employees, etc.
- Plan your user data access very carefully. Please remember that everyone in the organization need not have access to all important files. Multiple layers of system security can be used to grant access only to those who need it. All employees that use computer systems on a daily basis should have their own username and secure passwords.
- Finally, if you handle a lot of paper based documents, the most cost-efficient way to prevent fraud and identity theft is to invest in a quality shredder. Credit card bills, telephone bills, expired credit cards, cancelled checks, medical and financial records, tax records, and business related printouts should be shredded without any exception whatsoever. These days, there are plenty of inexpensive paper shredders available on the market. Please remember that even today, a large majority of identity thefts take place via the old-fashioned paper trail.
If your business uses a lot of paper based documents, Mastershred can help you remain well protected from identity theft. We offer state-of-the-art destruction and waste solutions designed specifically for all types businesses. Please contact us today to discuss your requirements.