Identity theft is on the rise and it could cost you your business.
Identity theft is on the rise, and it is a potential landmine for any business owner. Hackers that access client information could mean a lawsuit, a loss of reputation, and even financial loss great enough to close a business. If they steal your identity, hackers can wreak havoc with both your personal and business finances. New laws are being put into place that put the burden on keeping things secure, particularly with credit card transactions, squarely on the business owner. So, it’s extremely important to keep your business safe from identity theft. Here’s some quick ways to add security to your company to avoid a potential catastrophe.
- When taking down private information, make an effort to ensure that it’s not overheard. So many credit card numbers are stolen because people allow those numbers to be overheard by the wrong person. Similarly, it’s wise to take a good look at who you are hiring to process credit card requests. Hiring trustworthy people is always a smart measure. So don’t yell out all the numbers when you are writing them down!
- Make sure that clients choose passwords that are difficult to guess. Using widgets that force clients to choose passwords that include numbers, capital letters and symbols will make it harder for hackers to brute force their way into client information. This is the best way to prevent hackers from gaining access to any databases containing private information.
- Protect yourself with antimalware software, email encryption, and online safety certificates. Install antimalware software and firewalls on every business computer, and you’ve already won half the battle. Adding encryption or locking to your mailboxes can add even more security. Lastly, SSL certificates are a must for online stores! All of these methods help ensure that your information remains secure from phishing attacks and hackers.
- If you have solid documents containing client information, store them carefully or shred them. This keeps hackers and thieves from finding information by rooting through garbage. Not every type of identity theft and cybercrime is hi-tech! Sometimes it’s easier to steal information the old fashion way. Make sure you protect this data as well.
- Don’t ask for unnecessary private information. The more information you get from a customer, the more damage can be done if ID thieves get a hold of it. Try to get the bare minimum information needed to complete a transaction.
- Use common sense. If you get a phone call from an out of area number that doesn’t match your client’s number on file, and they are asking forprivate information, it’s most likely someone trying to pull an identity theft trick on you. Trust your gut. If a story is too strange to believe, it’s probably a lie.
- If you do end up noticing that there’s been an information leak in your company, you are required by law to alert them immediately. This is not only a legal issue, but a moral one as well. Wouldn’t you want someone to tell you if identity thieves got access to your private information? By giving them the heads up, you show that you have their best interests in mind.
A serious ID attack will end up losing your company thousands of dollars. If you are looking to keep your company safe, do your best to learn about cybersecurity and invest in software and technology that improves your ability to stay safe. It might also be wise to talk to a professional. When in doubt, use common sense and err on the side of caution in order to protect yourself from identity theft. After all, your business is at stake.