In the controversial Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have rights similar to those of an individual. It follows that they have identities and are vulnerable to identity theft.
Although insurance offers one way to manage this risk, it might well be a long time before a company discovers the theft — at which point, it would be too late. To avoid or minimize the danger of having your corporate identity stolen, we’d recommend a three-step approach:
- Storing sensitive information. Sensitive files and information (credit card numbers, medical data, Social Security numbers, etc.) might be stored on computers, external drives, filing cabinets, or mobile devices. It’s wise to consolidate and secure this data either physically behind lock and key or by using electronic network security measures. Be sure to train employees on handling, storing, and disposing of this type of information properly.
- Your business documentation. Identity thieves might use highly sophisticated or surprisingly elementary and low-tech techniques for delving into a company’s records and misappropriating them. These might include intercepting paper mail, stealing trash, or physically taking documents. To safeguard this information, determine what records you need to run the business, inventory them, and use electronic statements to limit the amount of mail containing company information. Never share financial details or documents through e-mail!
- Credit reports. Check your company’s credit reports regularly for unusual charges or bills.
The Federal Trade Commission (http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus69-protecting-personal-information-guide-business) provides a variety of resources you can use to help protect your corporate identity and confidential customer information against identity thieves.
Our agency’s professionals would be happy to offer their help — just give us a call.