Everything you do in your during your business, including bank transactions or e-commerce activities, is prone to identity theft. While identity theft is a frequent form of fraud, many companies are frequently unaware of how it operates, leaving them exposed until it’s too late.
Read on to learn more about identity theft and how you can avoid it.
Sources of Identity Theft
- Identity thieves can steal your personal information in a variety of methods.
- In order to find a credit card or bank statement, fraudsters may rummage through mail or trash.
- Your electronic information may be accessible to identity thieves through unsecured websites or public WiFi.
Tips to Avoid Identity Theft
Put your credit on hold
Your credit can be frozen with all the main credit agencies. The best defense against identity thieves utilizing your data to register new accounts is to freeze your credit, which you can do for free, and unfreeze it when you wish to start a new account.
Keep your Social Security Number Private
The master key to your personal information is your Social Security number. Protect it at all costs. Ask why your number is required and how it will be protected when you are requested to provide it.
Don’t bring your card along. Documents containing your social security number should be kept safely or shredded.
Watch out for Spoofing and Phishing
Scammers can pose as businesses or government entities on the phone, and even emails that seem genuine may be efforts to steal your personal information.
Instead of answering a phone or email, start a callback or return email yourself, working from a reputable source like the official website. And watch out for attachments, as many of them include viruses.
Many financial institutions will send you a text or email when transactions are made on your accounts. Sign up to receive notifications about when and where your credit cards are used, as well as on withdrawals from and deposits into your financial accounts.
Be Mindful of Your Mail
One of the quickest ways to steal an identity is through stolen mail. If you’re traveling, ask someone to hold your mail. Consider a lockable mailbox that has been authorized by the USPS.
The USPS also offers Informed Delivery, which provides you with a preview of your mail so you can determine whether anything is missing.
Utilize a Digital Wallet
Use a digital wallet, an app that contains safe, digital copies of your credit and debit cards, while making online or in-person purchases. It can be used at a suitable checkout terminal or when shopping online.
The tokenization and encryption of transactions make them more secure. Additionally, there are fewer health hazards with contactless transactions.
Properly Shred and Dispose
Any credit card, bank, or investment statements that a thief could recover from your trash should not have been there. So don’t throw important documents or account statements in the garbage. Also, shred junk mail, particularly credit preapproval offers.
Create a Robust Identity Theft Defense
Stopping a scam before it starts is the most effective and straightforward method of preventing identity theft. Regardless of how large or small, your company is, you must implement sound internal controls and security measures to safeguard it against data theft and other threats that could cause it to fail.