With the start of 2016, most of us will be writing out our New Year goals and resolutions. Sure, you may have your personal resolutions mapped out, but have you considered resolutions for your Los Angeles business?
If you’re still organizing and outlining business plans for 2016, we highly suggest that one those resolutions be implementing specific processes that contribute to securing your company from identity theft. Contrary to common belief, identity theft not only targets consumers, it also targets Los Angeles organizations as well. In fact, recent studies show that business identity theft is the latest threat to small companies throughout the U.S and here in Los Angeles as well.
Thieves can obtain your identity in many ways; they can discover extremely confidential information through computer security hacks, or by simply sorting through old trash and obtaining sensitive documents, like credit card bills, and/or statements.
When it comes to information theft of your Los Angeles business, a thief may seize an organization’s identity in an effort to acquire credit in that company’s name. After these credit accounts are sought out and approved, you can bet criminals will quickly carry out a shopping spree under your name! The damage incurred could be devastating to your Los Angeles company and it can stop you from obtaining credit down the road.
What can your Los Angeles business do to prevent identity theft in 2016?
- Put together a protection plan– Many companies will focus much of their energy on creating business plans that bring in new business; this is perfectly fine, but often because of this little to no attention is placed on developing an internal protection plan. Your Los Angeles business should be designing a thorough, step-by-step process to secure the identity of your company while also coming up with an appropriate action plan, should you become a victim of information theft.
- Keep all company records secure– Be certain that your company and customer records are secure and locked away in a safe area at all times. Any records that no longer require storage should be professionally shred through secure destruction services. Never provide your company’s federal tax identification number, financials, or bank statements to anyone you don’t know, and lastly, you may want to look into using prepaid business credit cards for your employees instead of traditional credit cards; these cards allow you to set specific limits, and they can be deactivated in real time. If a prepaid credit card is stolen you can take immediate action and resolve the issue much faster.
- Secure online business information– One of the surefire ways to put your company on the line is by revealing confidential details like an employer identification number (EIN), account numbers, and financial data, through email or the web. If this information is necessary for a specific reason such as obtaining credit, be sure to confirm the site is 100% secure, and its security certificate is up-to-date.
- Monitor credit reports –One of the easiest ways to catch whether or not there’s a potential threat to your business, is through daily monitoring. Remember to keep a close eye on your company’s profiles with all major business credit bureaus. This is extremely easy to do; simply subscribe to their monitoring services, and you’ll be granted ongoing access to records at all times. For further security, you can set up alert notifications to notify you via email of any new/recent activity under your company’s credit.
- Forget about using “master” accounts– For security reasons you should do away with using any form of “master” account. While it may seem convenient, it also gives an employee or individual potential access to critical business information.
If you do fall victim to identity theft, visit the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs for details on reporting the crime, or simply call our knowledgeable team, and we’ll be glad to assist you.
Contact us in Los Angeles at 1-800-987-4733
From everyone at SAFESHRED, we wish you all the best in 2016!