Business Identity Theft

Your guide to protecting yourself and your business against identity theft 

Today’s digital landscape thrives on information, but with it comes an increased risk of identity theft. Individuals aren’t the only victims of identity theft; it happens to entire corporations too. Your customers trust you to protect their information and identity, so it is crucial to have robust security measures in place to protect valuable information from becoming vulnerable to identity theft. 

Why is it important to have identity theft protection?

According to the FTC, identity theft was the most common type of fraud reported in 2022,  which has nearly tripled over the last decade. This growth can be attributed to our ever-changing technological landscape and the increased types of identity theft crimes that occur as a result. 

This means identity theft protection isn’t just a smart choice for businesses; it’s a necessity. Safeguarding your customers’ sensitive data builds trust with your consumer base and protects your business from substantial financial losses and reputational damage. Complying with industry regulations and attracting top talent are added benefits. Investing in your customers’ security ultimately secures your own success.

How to prevent identity theft

Preventing identity theft from impacting your business requires a proactive approach. Here are some best practices to follow to decrease the risk of your business becoming a target.

1. Keep your EIN secure.

Just like an identity thief can wreak havoc on an individual by accessing their social security number, a business’ Employer Identification Number is a key to committing corporate fraud. Ensure all documents with this number are secured or properly destroyed when no longer needed.

2. Shred sensitive documents.

Just because a document is useless to you doesn’t mean it has no value to an identity thief. Once you no longer need bank statements, receipts, or invoices, be sure to shred them to make your important information unusable in the hands of dumpster divers.

3. Store documentation offsite.

As a business, you have many service providers coming and going from your office space. When your files are stored offsite at a secure location, fewer people have access to your important documents. Choose a location that is monitored by closed-circuit surveillance systems and ensures that all visitors are escorted by security staff.

4. Beware of the Signs 

When you see a red flag, take action. If you get a call from a creditor that you’re not expecting or a letter about credit on purchases that you didn’t make, there’s a problem. You can detect identity theft by being aware of your financial picture, monitoring where your confidential information is stored, and taking action when things don’t seem right.

What to do if you suspect identity theft

Hopefully, you’ve taken the proper steps to prevent identity theft by investing in document destruction or document management services. But if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of identity theft, immediately contact the company where the fraudulent transaction occurred. Notify them of the situation and ask if they have any process for handling identity theft. There’s a chance you may have to file a police report. Secondly, it’s recommended to complete an Identity Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission. You can complete the report online or call 877-438-4338.

Contact R4 Services Today

R4 Services provides secure document management solutions in the Chicagoland area to help businesses in various industries keep their information safe and prevent fraudulent activity. Contact our team of information specialists to learn more!

Have questions? Give us a call today to discuss your needs!