To protect themselves from identity theft and other forms of cybercrime, businesses that collect customers’ personal information must have robust security, fraud risk, and preventative management systems in place. The problem is that businesses are often vulnerable to identity theft because of a lack of knowledge about the type of fraud and how it is committed.
This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.
When it comes to business identity theft, fraudsters will essentially use a variety of different data to pretend to be your business. They can steal customer information and cause a lot of damage to your reputation. With that in mind, here are some ways to protect your business from identity theft to help keep you and your customers safe.
Protect Your IT Systems
If someone is going to steal your company information so they can impersonate you, they will usually do so by accessing your computer network. This is why you need to protect your IT systems at all times. This can be done by installing antivirus software and having a robust firewall in place.
You should also train your team to understand what is safe and what isn’t when it comes to clicking on links and downloading attachments and programs. Have a protocol in place that helps prevent this from accidentally taking place. You can also ensure that everyone understands how to create a strong password, and that your team members change that password every three months.
Finally, if you change your hard drive or computer and need to dispose of the old one, don’t just throw it in the bin; if someone were to find it, they could access all the information on it. The hard drive must be destroyed entirely using a hard drive destruction service for the best and safest results.
Check Your Business Accounts Regularly
Review all business account statements, credit reports, supplier information, registration information, and other important business data. This way, you can keep an eye out for any strange account activity, like updates, withdrawals, and charges on business credit cards that you can’t explain. These things can hurt your credit score and could be proof that someone has stolen your data.
You can set up email alerts from your account’s monitoring systems to be notified in real-time of any activity across all of your company’s accounts. Although this might feel a little too late, the sooner you become aware of the issue, the less damage will be done, so never just assume all is well and always take steps to correct problems if you notice them in any of your accounts.
Take Notice Of Your Customers
It might be that your customers are the first ones to notice something is wrong. Perhaps a new social media account has started under your name, and it’s asking for contact information and payment details. Perhaps spam email has come from what looks like you at first glance but actually isn’t. Or perhaps it’s a text or email.
When a customer tells you about this, don’t just brush it off or assume it was a one-off. This could be a big problem, so you’ll need to check everything and assure your customers that you would never ask for those details. Encourage them to speak to their credit card companies or banks if they have already given that information.