Commercial Identity Theft: How to Prevent It

Commercial Identity Theft: How to Prevent It

Commercial identity theftThis is one of the fastest growing identity theft crimes in the United States and the internet makes it easier to commit this type of identity theft.  Although it is not totally possible to prevent commercial identity theft, there are steps you can take to make your company less vulnerable.  There are different measures that companies can use to help minimize the risk of becoming a victim of commercial identity theft.  This type of theft not only affects your business but also your employees.

One way you can help minimize your company’s risk is by developing a privacy policy.  You will need to make sure that your company trains all employees about the privacy policy and that they abide by it.  You should also make sure that your company closely monitors this policy and that your company is in compliance with it.  To take care of this you might consider hiring or appointing someone from your company to be a privacy and security coordinator for the company.

Make sure that your company only stores data that you really need.  For example, you will probably need to keep a database of address and purchase information, but there is no reason to keep a database of payment information such as someone’s credit or debit information.  Once you have the payment marked down, you should remove the data to help reduce the risk of your company being a victim of commercial identity theft.

 

You should also make sure that your payment system deletes the temporary data files with the payment records and if your company outsources to another party, make sure that they also have strict privacy and security polices in place.  Your company needs to make sure that the employees who have access to the payment systems or sensitive data are monitored by doing spot checks to verify they are working within their job capacity.  You should make sure that you only employ the minimal number of employees that are needed to have access to these areas.

If the unthinkable happens and you have a loss of computer systems or a security data breach, report it to the police immediately so they can investigate to see if there is a possibility of commercial identity theft.

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