Safeguarding your identity from theft is always important, but it can be especially so if you own a business. Many times, you rely on your personal credit to obtain loans, secure lines of credit with vendors, and deal with other financial issues. Unfortunately, if your personal identity has been compromised, your business may suffer as a result, too. Luckily, there are all kinds of steps you can take to protect yourself.
If your personal information is on paper documents, such as bank account statements, business contracts or tax returns, make sure to keep those documents in a safe and locked file cabinet. When disposing of documents, shred everything. Remember, thieves aren’t just after your Social Insurance Number. They may also be able to steal your identity with your full name, address, bank account number, or other details. Identity thieves and hackers are constantly trading this information on the dark web. If you lose a bit of information here and a bit there, the hackers may be able to turn those little pieces into a whole identity.
You also need to safeguard your identity online. To that end, never transmit personal or business details over public Wi-Fi. Hackers can get on public Wi-Fi and steal any information that is not encrypted. Also, be aware of the risk of phishing emails. These emails are often designed to target the people who pay the bills at a small business. Typically, a phishing email instructs you to visit a certain site or download an attachment. Once you take that action, the hacker installs software that tracks your keystrokes. At that point, they can steal everything from your identity to your banking login details.
To avoid identity theft, you need to be aware of the risks. Try to stay up to date on current trends so you can embrace new protection methods as needed. Also, monitor your credit so you can see if anyone is opening accounts in your name. Hackers are constantly on the lookout for security loopholes and system weaknesses. By taking a few proactive actions, you can help deter perpetrators and prevent your personal and business identify information from getting into the wrong hands.