To protect your business from identity theft, you may need to start taking a few extra precautions. When 17 million Americans fall victim to identity theft every year, it's clear that not everyone understands just how vulnerable they are. Find out more why you should be concerned as a decision-maker, and how you can take steps toward protecting your livelihood.
Why Should a Business Be Concerned with Preventing Identity Theft?
High-profile hacks like Target and T-Mobile may lure small business owners into believing that their business is safe from this kind of unwanted attention. But the truth is that most attacks are made against small businesses — those hacks just don't make the news. In fact, criminals tend to target small businesses because their security isn't as sophisticated.
Protect Your Personal Data
From your social security to your ATM card, protecting your business starts with protecting yourself. Never give your information to someone unless you've verified who they are, and pay attention to your surroundings when you use your bank cards. Not only is it possible to run into some unsavory characters when you're using the ATM, but you might expose yourself to a discreet credit card skimmer waiting to steal your information to use at a later point.
Identifying Social Engineering
You probably know that deleting spam from your inbox is a good way to prevent data breaches, but you also need to be careful of spam that's been carefully designed to look legitimate. If you receive an unsolicited request at work — even if it's come from an email address you recognize — you may want to think twice. This piece of advice may make things a little more cumbersome as you may need to take some time to verify the sender, but you'll thank yourself in the end. The same advice goes for any unsolicited links you may receive.
Watch Your Virtual Back
You may not have anyone peeking over your shoulder when you use your computer but that doesn't mean you're alone in the digital universe. If you're not using encryption and strong passwords to keep your business safe, you're potentially inviting the wrong people to play on your systems. Password management systems can also be helpful so you can be certain your employees are using smart password tactics.
Keep Communication Private
If you want to teach your staff to protect company data, you first need to educate them about the risks they're taking. Never conduct business on a computer or network that is outside your control. Sending an email at the airport may seem convenient, but it can leave your business open for attacks. As with your files, keep your Wi-Fi network safe with a strong password and WPA2 encryption.
Practice Onsite Document Destruction
When you think about how to prevent business identity theft from every angle, you have to consider the physical data as well as the virtual. Dumpster diving is still an easy way for thieves to find the information they need to make their mark. From social security to medical to financial, there are so many examples of identity theft that can occur if you don't get rid of your documents properly.
If you're looking for a shredding service that can help protect your business from identity theft, it's imperative to choose a partner who understands the risks. Louisiana Shred has mobile shredding services that ensure your personal and professional data can stay safe from the prying eyes that surround you.