Tragedies occur and we can not always prevent them. But imagine if we could go back in time and make decisions based on “what if”. What if the Titanic were equipped with more life boats, what if we had better safety equipment in our vehicles, what if I had a means to protect my corporation and employees against identity theft?
What is identity theft? Identity theft is defined as a fraud that is committed or attempted using a person’s or company’s identifying information without their authority. While you may be more familiar with personal identity theft, corporate identity theft is on the rise. Why? Well here is just a couple reasons:
- Corporate information is easier to obtain than personal information.
- A corporation normally has a higher credit line than an individual.
- The corporation is usually not expecting it.
Check with the Secretary of State for your corporate state of residence, and I am sure you will be shocked or at the very least surprised at the number of cases of corporate identity theft being reported. If your corporate identity is stolen, the end result can be devastating both financially and to the corporation’s reputation. For some companies the damage may be too extensive to bounce back from. Consider the amount and type of information that is stored electronically and on paper statements at your office. Financial, proprietary, personal, passwords, logins, and business contacts are all at risk. Do your employees travel or work from home? If they do, they are probably utilizing a laptop or company cell phone. Electronic devices, while making it easier for the company and the employees, is at the same time creating a potential for corporate identity theft.
You have probably taken the proper precautions to safeguard your computers from phishing and hacking, however, when these electronic items are replaced, how are the old ones being disposed of? What about old paper documents that may or may not have important information on them? How many times have you jotted information down on a piece of scrap paper, a receipt, the back of an envelope and then tossed these items into the trash? The best way to be assured that discarded information, whether it is in electronic or paper form, is kept out of dishonest hands is to completely destroy it. This is best accomplished through degaussing and/or shredding the discarded items.
There are multiple machines and/or services available to handle the destruction needs of your company. It is important that you speak with someone who is knowledgeable in the field of document destruction who can insure that your corporation is getting the equipment or service, no more and no less, to meet your corporate needs. Hopefully your corporation has been lucky enough not to be a victim of identity theft, however, luck always runs out. Your corporate information is valuable and should be safeguarded.