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Tips to Stay Safe from Business Identity Theft

When you hear the words ‘identity theft’ most people think of individuals who have had their identities stolen. The rate of this has increased by a staggering 50% and the implications can be felt for months or even years afterward. After all, it is you that is left to deal with the credit agreements that have been taken out in your name.

But, it’s not just individuals that are affected, businesses can also be victims of identity theft!

Business Identity Theft

In some ways, it is easier to steal a business identity. After all, the company information is readily available and it is surprisingly easy to copy logos. Of course, you may be wondering why a thief would want to take a business identity:

  • Accessing Credit

If you can successfully steal the identity of a business you can easily access credit in the name of the business. In most cases this is more lucrative than individual credit lines, giving the identity thief a bigger payday.

  • Personal Information

Another reason to forge a company identity is to gain access to personal records. This could be the owners of the business or customer details. The result is a huge array of financial information, allowing the thief to help themselves to the best bits and go on a shopping spree. 

  • Company Secrets

Of course, some companies are involved in secretive military work or developing new techniques. The result is other businesses and individuals want the information. It can give a significant marketing advantage or be worth a lot of money. 

Being perceived as the business will allow an imposter to access this information. 

  • Damage To Reputation

It is possible that a thief will take your business identity simply to damage your reputation and improve the market for a competitor. Of course, proving this is the motive can be hard.

Businesses need to take steps to protect themselves:

Shred Everything

You should invest in high-quality security paper shredders. These shred things into small pieces by cutting them vertically and horizontally, making it virtually impossible to piece the document back together. 

Any paperwork that is being disposed of should go through these shredders to ensure the details cannot be taken by anyone outside the business. 

Secure Servers

You need to have secure servers to store all sensitive information. This means you can limit access to those who need it. In the first instance, this protects the information.
But, you can enhance this protection by using passwords and making sure they are randomly generated and changed regularly. 

That makes it much harder for a thief to hack and get sensitive information needed to steal your business identity.

Check Your Credit

Businesses, like individuals, have a credit rating and report. You need to check yours regularly to ensure you are aware of any new credit arrangements. This will allow you to check them and contest them at the earliest opportunity. 

If you don’t check regularly you may not, know of the issue until the credit is being called in and that’s a lot more complicated to resolve. 

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