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Operating a reliable and functional business requires putting the right security into place. You might think that identity theft is more of a personal matter than a business matter but, in fact, it’s both. Hackers and scammers can take advantage of your company’s sensitive information in many ways, whether that’s in a digital or physical format. This guide will help you learn how to prevent business identity theft, so you can practice smart and secure business practices each day.
Keep Important Documents Somewhere Secure
To avoid letting important documents fall into the wrong hands, keep them in a secure location. Ideally, they should be under lock-and-key, or behind an access code-protected door, that only necessary employees can access. The filing cabinets you keep the documents in should also be locked at all times, and only certain employees should have access to the key.
Shred Documents When Necessary
Physical documents containing sensitive information should not be left to accumulate over the years when they’re of use anymore, even if they’re in a secure location. In fact, you should have a document retention schedule in place so that you can periodically purge certain documents. However, when it comes time to get rid of those documents, don’t just throw them in the trash.
If you do that, they can wind up in the hands of scammers who will take advantage of the information these documents contain, whether its health records, social security numbers, or any other type of sensitive information.
Several reasons support the importance of shredding documents, including the fact that it keeps personal customer and employee information out of the wrong hands. There are reputable document destruction companies across the U.S. that thoroughly and securely destroy designated documents right in front of your eyes. In fact, in many cases, these companies can bring their shredders right to your office.
Go Digital When Possible
Even if your business cannot go 100% paperless, take some time to sit down and decide exactly what you can go paperless on. For instance, you should utilize digital banking statements instead of physical statements you receive in the mail. That way, you can avoid having your banking statements fall victim to mail theft.
Build a Strong Digital Security System
If your company has a strong digital component—as many companies do in one form or another—then it’s vital for it to have a strong digital security system. Make sure you have these services in place for the company’s digital protection:
- Password-protected computers
- Encrypted networks
- Firewall protection for the network
- Automatic software updates
- Regularly scheduled scans for viruses and malware
Knowing how to prevent business identity theft isn’t something that all business owners have in mind when they start their businesses, but they should. That’s because running your company as securely as possible should be a main priority from the get-go. Customers and clients want to work with companies that they can trust. If you can build a good reputation with the help of proper security systems, your business can thrive effectively in your field.