Identity theft is a very serious problem worldwide. Not only for consumers, but it is a major issue for businesses also. Being the owner of a company, you need to take steps for preventing identity theft in your business.
A business, small or big, face various issues on a daily basis. Of all these issues, identity theft is the most threatening. It can destroy your relationship with employees and customers. Businesses spend so much time to attract and keep their customers and ensure their business goes on. But all it takes is a single data breach which can lead to the loss of business in seconds.
Ways In Which Data Breaches Occur
1. Mistakes Made By Employees
Sometimes employees unintentionally destroy data or fall victim to fraudsters. These mistakes include-
Losing a laptop containing personally identifiable information.
Mistakenly destroying or losing storage devices such as hard disks, flash drives containing sensitive information.
Employees can also fall for hacking schemes such as phishing, spear phishing, social engineering, etc. through which they accidentally reveal information.
2. Employees Deliberately Modifying Data
Employees can be the part of crime themselves when they intentionally commit identity theft. Some employees execute data breaches for their own financial gain.
The employees could sell the sensitive information to identity thieves.
3. External Attacks
Apart from being the victim by their own employees, businesses suffer attacks from external sources. Hackers could break into the company’s computer network through various sources. They could then misuse the information and could put the company’s reputation at risk.
Steps To Be Taken By Businesses To Prevent Identity Theft
1. Guard Confidential Information
Store and transmit all your data in a secure manner by practicing encryption techniques. Sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, credit card information, etc. should be used very cautiously by making use of passwords.
Keep all your installed software updated always including your operating system.
Make use of firewalls.
Install operating system updates as soon as they become available. Such updates often fix potential security risks.
Shred all your documents before disposing of them.
Store all your important documents in locked cabinets.
2. Create Customer Policies
Ask for a government ID proof from people who pay you with a credit card or check. If the ID looks fake, don’t accept the payment.
Instruct the customers not to share their private information with anyone except the employee who really needs it.
3. Set Business Policies
Make policies for accepting payments.
Create security policies for your company and regularly update them.
Train the employees to follow all the company policies in an appropriate manner.
Make use of password manager to be used by all the employees in the company and centralize all the passwords in it.
Only share those passwords with an employee that he/she really needs for doing the job. Don’t share any extra information.
When any employee leaves the organization or is fired, make sure to withdraw access to any shared account or documents from the employee.
Follow the above password policies in your organization to avoid identity theft and fraud. If you have a good password management system in place, you can rest assured that your information is protected and under safe hands.
An efficient password manager in an organization ensures protection against ex-employees and other external attacks.