As an individual, you take great care to protect your personal information from identity thieves. However, are you are taking those same precautions to protect your business from identity fraud? Identity fraud is no longer just a concern for individuals; your business has an identity of its own that is vulnerable to those looking to make a quick profit.
To protect your business from identity theft, follow these tips from businessidtheft.org:
Protect Your Information and Networks
One of the best ways to protect your business’ identity is by taking the same precaution you’d use to protect your own- safeguarding your information. While your business does not have a traditional “identity,” it does have financial account numbers, state and federal ID’s, and EIN’s that could be stolen and used fraudulently. Using strong passwords for access to your financial
accounts and limiting the number of people who can access those accounts can decrease the likelihood of identity theft. Additionally, the use of firewalls and anti-virus software will lessen the possibility of your business’ internal networks being breached.
Monitor Your Accounts
Another way to protect your business’ information is to monitor all your accounts closely. This vigilance should not be limited to your business’ financial accounts, but also extend to your vendor orders and credit reports. For instance, think of the damage an identity thief could do if he or she gained access to the information needed to place orders from one of your vendors. Your vendor might not question an extra purchase, so only someone who places the orders regularly would notice anything out of the ordinary. If you do notice any suspicious activity, be sure to report the incident immediately to the financial institution or vendor to prevent or minimize any further damage.
Train Your Employees
Your team can be your best defense or your weakest link depending on how they handle your business’ personal information. In addition to formal training that educates employees about topics such as phishing and email scams, encourage the use of strong passwords, frequent computer updates to maintain software’s integrity, and just a general sense of security when
discussing business information. Remind your team that data security is everyone’s responsibility.
It’s difficult to imagine your business having an identity that could be stolen. However, more and more criminals are viewing companies of all sizes as easy targets for quick paydays. For more information about keeping your business’ identity safe, visit www.businessidtheft.org. And for tips and coverage options to meet your business needs, log-on to www.preferredmutual.com.