My name is Jose Eduardo Gonzalez Alvarez I am 27-year-old, originally from Tijuana B.C. Mexico.
With the stakes higher than ever before, identity theft is costing businesses billions of dollars every year. Once your customer’s personal information is stolen, it can be used to commit fraud on the person’s credit line or even use their identity to take out loans or open new accounts. The best way to keep your customers safe is by using some of these handy tips to help prevent identity theft in your business.
What is a Social Security Number?
A Social Security Number is a nine-digit number that identifies a specific individual. It can be found on tax forms, credit reports, and other official documents.
How Identity Theft Happens
Identity theft, on the whole, is a form of fraud that occurs when someone uses your personal information without your consent to commit a crime. That means that if someone steals your identity, they could use it to open accounts or take out loans in your name without you knowing.
There are many ways that people's identities can be stolen. Most commonly, business customers' identities are stolen through phishing scams and data breaches. Phishing scams happen when someone tricks you into giving up your personal information by pretending to be a reputable company and then sends you an email with a link that will prompt you for sensitive information like passwords and social security numbers.
Data breaches occur when hackers steal sensitive customer data from companies, such as usernames and passwords, before selling it online. This large-scale issue has been happening more often in recent years because hackers know how much valuable information is stored in databases these days.
The Importance of Keeping Your Data Safe
You may think that you're safe because you don't handle credit cards at your business, but financial institutions are constantly warning against this type of thinking. Identity thieves can still tamper with your customer’s personal information and make purchases without ever leaving the comfort of their home.
The best way to keep your customers safe is by protecting their data with passwords or PIN numbers. You should also have a system in place that will notify you if any new information has been added to your database that doesn't match up with what's already there.
Steps to Prevent Identity Theft in Your Business
There are many ways to prevent identity theft in your business. One of the most important things you can do is train your employees. You want to be sure that all of your staff members know how to identify and report suspicious behavior, as well as watch for key pieces of information that could lead to identity theft.
Encourage your staff to always ask for a driver’s license or other form of identification when taking an order or distributing mail or packages. This way, they can verify customer information and make sure it matches up with the card handed over.
It's also a good idea to encourage your staff to avoid disclosing private customer information in public spaces like restrooms, break rooms, storage areas, lobbies, etc. This includes data like addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden name and more.
Finally, if you have any old computer equipment lying around—think floppy disc drives or old keyboards—you should dispose of them appropriately rather than just throwing them out in the trash. If these items are not disposed of properly they could potentially contain sensitive customer information that can be accessed by anyone who finds it discarded on the ground or left on a curb during garbage collection time.
Limit the access to your customer’s information
One of the most important things you can do to protect your customers from identity theft is to make sure their personal information stays safe.
Limit access by making sure that only employees who absolutely need access to customer’s personal information can get it. This will help stop unauthorized people from accessing and using your customer’s information, which prevents identity theft.
Additionally, regularly monitor and update your company's security system. This will help you identify ways to keep your customers' information safe and be prepared for any unexpected issues.
Lastly, store any customer's sensitive data offline so it can't be accessed by hackers or other intruders on the internet. The best way to achieve this is by encrypting any sensitive data you collect about your customers so it cannot be read over the internet if it were ever hacked into.
Monitor your network for suspicious activity
The best way to protect your customers and your business is by monitoring for suspicious activity. Be sure to monitor anything that looks off: unusual login details, requests for personal information, and sudden changes in behavior.
You can also put a hub of security software in place on your network to keep an eye out for the latest threats.
Be sure that passwords are strong and unique
Passwords should contain a combination of letters, numbers and characters. You should also try to change them regularly. The last thing you want is one of your employees sharing the same password.
When it comes to passwords for your business, avoid using information that can be found on social media accounts or in the public domain. Keep them secret and safe!
Follow best practices for password management
The best way to prevent identity theft is by using strong passwords. A strong password is one that has letters, numbers, and symbols. It also changes every month or two.
Choosing a password that's easy for you to remember is not the best option. Instead, create something that's difficult for someone to figure out or guess. You can use your favorite song lyric or pick a word that relates to your company as a password as long as it meets the other requirements as well.
If you're using an app for your business, then be sure to check the app's terms of service before installing it on your phone. For example, some apps might have access to your contacts and messages which could be viewed by other people if they hack into the app account.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Eduardo Gonzalez