4 Ways to Prevent Business Identity Theft

person hacking business showing why you need to prevent business identity theft

Individuals aren’t the only ones at risk for identity theft. Businesses are becoming increasingly susceptible to criminal use of their identity for tax fraud, credit card, and other financial fraud. Some businesses are even having their websites and business name trademarks held for ransom. Fortunately, there are a number of practical, affordable steps you can take to prevent business identity theft.

4 Ways to Prevent Business Identity Theft

1. Secure any sensitive files.

When people attack your business, most of the time their first stop is going to be somewhere in your filing system. From bank statements to customer lists and information, your business holds thousands of electronic files with sensitive information. Be sure that your computer systems have an appropriate firewall, anti-virus, and anti-malware technology to keep hackers from gaining access to all your important information.

2. Deter device-centered hacking.

Having a “bring your own device” policy may seem like it’s saving your business money, but in the long run, it’s introducing extra risks to your business. When employees use their personal cell phones or laptops for work, hackers are able to get from their laptop to your information systems relatively easily. Be sure that any personal devices are password-protected and that sensitive information can’t be accessed if their device is lost or stolen.

3. Operate with an EIN.

While corporations and LLCs must have a sperate employer identification number for tax identification purposes, small business owners who operate as sole proprietors could simply do so under their social security number. Even though this is something you can do, it isn’t something you should do. Should your business fall victim to identity theft, your personal finances won’t be attached to the identity now in someone else’s hands.

4. Establish internal controls.

Many security breaches or identity theft issues come from the people you’d least expect it from – your employees. Regardless of how thorough of a background check you do or how well you think you know all of your employees, you should always use passwords and other restrictive practices to protect important documents and data. You should also only let a few very trusted employees handle that vital information to ensure that you can easily trace it back to a handful of people should something occur.

Even with preventative measures put in place, you can never be 100% sure that business identity theft won’t happen to your business. The best way to protect your business is to be sure you have the proper policies and coverages in place should an incident occur.

Not sure which policies those are? We can help you figure out what your business needs. Get in touch with us here or call us at 770-637-1734.

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