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2013-05-21 00:00:00GeneralEnglish your small business from identity theft

Protect your small business from identity theft

2 min read

The responsibilities of running a business are more than just profit-related objectives; stakeholder welfare, for example, is an important responsibility that lies with the owner or management.

Being occupied with the day-to-day obligations like reports, presentations and so on, worrying about business identity theft would probably be the last thing on your mind. However, considering the legal and financial repercussions, business identity theft is a growing concern. It can be a very tricky situation, as once you fall victim, you will have to shell out a substantial amount of money to recover.

Considering the list of things you need to focus on to efficiently run your business, identify theft is something that you wouldn’t want to encounter. At this point, it becomes important to understand what identity thefts are and how you can protect your business from being a victim.

So what exactly is identity theft? A situation where someone steals your identity and takes undue control of your key resources like bank accounts, confidential documents, employee details and so for their personal benefit. Small business identity theft is a major concern not just for the business but also the employees.

Unlike personal identity theft, here there is a danger of employee records being compromised. The intruder will have access to employee names, addresses, phone numbers and other sensitive information of anyone who works for that firm.

While, there aren’t any hard and fast solutions, there are several precautionary measures that a business owner or manager can take in order to prevent this situation. So how do you protect a small business from identity thieves?

• Firstly, protect your customers’ information and keep the data locked. Invest in advanced encryption systems that secure your files and networks.

• Always make sure that old, dated records are locked up or destroyed beyond any use. Hard copies of documents are crucial as these are easier to retrieve. And, also limit the access to archived files only to a set of trustworthy employees

• Physical burglary is often ignored, yet a critical issue. Secure your business premises with sophisticated lock systems and alarms to provide you with immediate security against fraudulent individuals. Thus, minimize the risk of the consequent identity theft from the physical documents

• Be extremely cautious with former employees. One single entity can wreak the most damage to your company with access to your records outside the company. De-activate all accounts and revoke all access given to the staff.

• Enforce a strict security policy in place. Everyone in the company should be sensitised about proprietary information and mandates. Make sure that ex-employees comply with the signed confidentiality agreement and your corporate information will remain safe from outsider access

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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