Unfortunately, identity theft can happen to anyone, including businesses. It’s helpful to take steps to protect your business from identity theft and potential data loss. Knowing what to do in case of suspected identity theft is also important.
Review our blog to find tips to help safeguard your business and data. We’ve also included resources on how to report identity theft.
4 Tips to Help Protect Your Business From Identity Theft
1. Protect Your Data
Protect your business data by deploying firewall protections on your network, installing anti-malware/anti-virus software on all devices and encrypting sensitive files with strong password protection.
Here are additional tips to protect your business data:
- Back up sensitive data to a secure external source outside your network.
- Limit access to personal data only to authorized staff.
- Destroy old computer hard drives and printers that may contain sensitive data.
- Always use strong, unique passwords for each account, with at least eight characters containing both special and alphanumeric characters.
2. Educate Your Team on Best Practices
Make sure your team is educated on best practices for data security and other sensitive information. This may include sharing information about the following topics:
- How to spot phishing emails
- When to avoid opening or downloading attachments from unknown email senders
- When to use encrypted or password-protected emails
- How to create strong passwords
3. Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate
Keeping your business and personal finances separate can help protect you if your business becomes a victim of identity theft or if your personal identity is compromised. One way to help keep finances separate is to establish an EIN or employer identification number for your business.
You can apply online for an EIN on the IRS website. Once you have an EIN, you can apply for a business credit card to help monitor your business finances and watch for any signs of fraud.
4. Follow a Data Security Plan
Draft a data security plan your business can follow that establishes clear policies on handling a data breach, when to change passwords, how to secure remote access and more. The Federal Trade Commission has outlined resources to help you. Check out the following resources to get started:
How to Report Suspected Business Identity Theft
If you suspect your business is the victim of identity theft or data loss, contact your bank or financial institution for direction. You may also need to report the identity theft through one or more of the following methods:
- Submit a business identity theft affidavit
- Call to report the identity theft on the IRS business helpline
- Report that you’ve become a victim of a data security breach
- Report a data loss related to a W-2 email scam
Find Additional Identity Theft Resources
Are you interested in finding more resources to protect yourself and your business from identity theft? View Minster Bank’s webpage for additional information, plus see details of our upcoming community shred event. Go to the Identity Theft Information page >>