Identity thieves have expanded their victims list. They’re not exclusive to individuals anymore. They have already discovered how to steal the identities of businesses as well. This crime is known as business identity theft, also known as commercial identity theft or corporate identity theft. The thieves skillfully hijack the identity of your small company to establish new credit with various retailers and banks.
Business identity theft has been going on for quite a while. When the identity thieves finally get the lines of credit that they want, it’s easy for them to purchase anything. It completely destroys your company’s reputation and credit history. Eventually, you will be denied of business credit, leading to problems during operation. Just like personal identity theft, the damages take a lot of time and money to set straight.
Business owners like you need to prevent identity theft on the personal and business levels. Business ID theft prevention can be done with vigilance and presence of mind.
Tips on how to Prevent Business Identity Theft
Learning how to avoid business identity theft is easy. Think of it as a protecting your own identity on a much bigger level. In preventing business identity theft, you have to place an effective “padlock” or “steel wall” to keep you safe from thieves. However, keep in mind that you can never tell when a business identity theft can be successful or not. If ever the steel wall or padlock fails, you should immediately report identity theft and take the necessary steps to stop the crime from progressing.
Given are some steps necessary to face business identity theft and prevent it from taking over your career and your life:
- Establish a security plan.
Always remember that a good business strategy has a security plan laid out. It’s a means to protect your business from the attack or progress of identity theft.
- Keep your business information and records secure.
You can best do this offline because even in such a highly technological environment, many thieves still stick to the traditional way of stealing your business data. Here are some things you can do:
- Keep an inventory of your documents.
- Shred unnecessary or obsolete documents.
- Secure your documents in a strictly confidential location.
- Minimize the paper mail that you receive.
- Sign up for electronic statements or bills.
- Don’t provide your personal information, financial information, SS number, or EIN (employer identification number) to anyone unless you have contacted the establishment or person first.
- If the check isn’t processed on time, cancel the check.
- If ever you’ve decide to close your business, let the credit bureaus know about it.
- Keep your business safe online.
Never share your business or personal information via email, chat, or wall posts. If you do share your information online, make sure that the website is secure. Look for the padlock icon or “https” in the URL to confirm the site’s security.
- Monitor your business activities.
It’s always a huge help to have a credit monitoring service for your company. This will help prevent business id theft. You should also monitor your company’s purchases and sales. Keep an eye on unexpected bills or bills that don’t arrive on time.
- Protect your customers’ information.
As a business, you have a roster of loyal clients who entrust their information to your database. Always make sure that you treat their data like yours. Limit the access to the secure database of the company.
- Do not create a master user for the company database.
If there is anyone who has a right to access the database, it should only be you and not any employee in your company.
Business identity theft can be prevented. May the given tips help you and your company ward off business identity thieves for years to come.