The idea of personal identity theft is fairly well embedded today but business identity theft, less so. Any organisation can be vulnerable to business identity theft, whether large or small, if it is unprotected. This will involve another individual or entity impersonating the business, which could have a negative impact on an enterprise’s reputation and clients. It’s essential to take steps to protect your business if you don’t want to end up a victim.
1. Design your filing system for security
Today, security is more of a priority than organisational efficiency when it comes to filing. If you need to keep physical copies, especially of documents that contain sensitive data, it’s essential to provide robust physical security and to design your filing system so that it’s difficult for anyone without the right permissions to get into.
2. Restrict access
You don’t need to give everyone in the business access to every piece of data and each document that is generated. Restricting access makes a lot of sense, especially when it comes to malicious identity theft or disgruntled employees who are leaving. Whether data is physical or digital, ensure that usernames and passwords have to be given to access it so you always have full and traceable accountability.
3. Monitor the financials
In particular, ensure that you know what’s going on in the business bank accounts. This is frequently where you will find the first sign of an issue like identity theft so it’s important to keep a close eye on transactions.
4. Practice password security
Some of the most common passwords today are the easiest to guess and most people still don’t take password security seriously. ‘Password’ even features in the top 10 most popular password options. It’s essential to ensure that everyone in the business is aware of how important it is to use long, strong passwords and to change them regularly. You may want to provide training on this to staff or use password management software to make it easier.
5. Protect your social identity too
The passwords to your social media accounts can be very valuable to anyone who is trying to steal business identity. A social platform could be used to reach out to all sorts of clients and customers as well as to post defamatory or unpleasant content that could damage your reputation. Ensure that passwords are kept safe and that only a few people have access to them.
6. Check every invoice carefully
False invoices are a common trick scammers use to obtain your business’ billing information and also to engineer fake payments. So, make sure you have a system in place to check every invoice is genuine before it gets paid.
7. Shred, shred, shred
For physical documents and media the only way to ensure that your business is completely protected from identity theft is to have a regular schedule of shredding. Shredding completely destroys documents so that none of the data or information in them can be accessed. Working with a professional shredding partner who can manage this for you will ensure that nothing is missed.
Business identity theft is a threat that every organisation needs to take seriously today. These are a few of the steps that you can take to protect against it.
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