Today’s small businesses are especially vulnerable to identity theft and business fraud. Fortunately, insulating your organization from risks doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are nine tips for protecting your business from identity theft and business fraud.
1. Secure Your Network
A weak network increases your susceptibility to identity theft and business fraud. Your first defense is a firewall; consider installing one on every device. Also, lock down your WiFi with a strong password and WPA-2 encryption.
2. Back Up Your Data
Scheduled data backups ensure that your files can be recovered if stolen. Supplement your backup strategy with a media vaulting and rotation service. That way, you’ll never have to worry about not being able to recover mission-critical data.
3. Watch Out for Phishing Scams
Phishing season never ends. All year long, criminals wait for your employees to let their guard down and open an email with a malicious attachment. Beware of urgent language in emails (if it’s important, the sender will call you), and regardless of who the sender appears to be, verify the authenticity of attachments before opening them.
4. Follow Retention Rules
You can’t protect what you don’t know you have. Take inventory of your information and verify you’re keeping documents and data according to the retention and final disposition regulations that apply to your business and industry. A qualified records and information management partner can assist your team in managing your retention inventory.
5. Go Off-Site
Not all identity theft and business fraud threats are high tech. Every day, organizations big and small fall victim to data breaches due to lax document storage practices. Partner with a record storage and document management provider who can securely store your documents offsite and track them with bar code technology.
6. Shred Unwanted Documents
Keeping documents longer than necessary or tossing them in a waste or recycling bin exposes your business to data breaches. Use a NAID AAA Certified shredding partner to destroy your documents securely and in compliance with provincial and federal privacy requirements.
7. Scrap Old Passwords
Using easy-to-remember passwords and not changing passwords frequently puts your entire organization at risk. Have a unique, complex password for every login and change it often to prevent your sensitive data from being stolen.
8. Make a “Clean Desk” Policy
Privacy protection starts at your desktop. Never leave sensitive paperwork out in the open where it’s susceptible to prying eyes. A “clean desk” policy requires that documents and files are securely stored when not in use.
9. Educate Your Staff
A knowledgeable and trained staff is the first line of defense against identity theft and business fraud. Educate your employees about data security threats and remind them of best practices for protecting corporate information.
While there’s no single “silver bullet” for preventing identity theft and business fraud, following these tips will increase the likelihood that your information stays secure.
FileBank offers records management and data protection solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.