Identity theft can ruin an individual’s personal and professional life. A business facing the same situation can be even worse. Not only can a criminal smear the business’s reputation with bogus purchases, customers associated with the business are in jeopardy of losing their identity. If you run a business, fight identity theft with these suggestions, brought to you by the commercial insurance experts at American Tri-Star in Chula Vista.
Get a Protection Plan
Businesses create plans to start and maintain a business, yet oftentimes no plan is in place to combat identity theft. Also called a recovery plan, a protection plan is the first line of defense against identity theft. This plan contains systematic instructions to bail the agency out of an identity theft crisis.
Secure Confidential Files
Hard copies, CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, memory cards, and external hard drives contain crucial knowledge only authorized people should view. Sensitive information in the wrong hands can be disastrous. Place critical information in a lockbox, safe, or secure mailbox. Ensure the selected area is safe and secure. Likewise, clean out unnecessary or outdated documents by shredding them. In addition, proceed with caution about sharing confidential information online, in-person, in the mail, or over the phone. Understand the reasoning for the person needing this knowledge, or make sure you know the person or agency before sharing.
Increase Online Security
Firewalls, antivirus software, anti-spyware, and software updates are mandatory precautions for personal computers. For business computers, include these standard measures along with supplemental protection. A password-protected router, password encryption, and data encryption can secure the network from foreign breaches. As agencies rely on a browser to navigate online, ensure the browser mentions the site is secure. Log out from the site and close the browser once finished. In addition, include special features like phishing software, email antivirus, and web security software similar to Web of Trust.
View Financial Reports
Each month, the credit card bill shows up through snail mail. View the bill to ensure no transaction is amiss. Some credit card agencies allow online viewing, so take advantage of this perk. Additionally, monitor your agency’s bank accounts. View activity online and on paper statements. Alternatively, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian each allow one free credit report yearly. In total, businesses can view credit reports three times a year. All credit report agencies offer 24/7 monitoring service access. With this feature, the credit agencies will email suspicious transactions to you in real time. Like confidential files, store financial reports in a secure area and shred unneeded documents.
Purchase Commercial Insurance
An unusual yet wise idea is to use business insurance to tackle identity theft. Some insurance agencies include identity theft as a rider. Others turn identity theft into a separate insurance policy. Regardless, identity theft insurance covers expenses paid to reclaim your identity. In some cases, identity theft insurance is a service to assist you in recovering identity such as a credit freeze and monitoring assistance. Since it varies by the provider, ask your insurance agent if identity theft coverage is included in commercial insurance in Chula Vista.
Protecting against identity theft is just one of many reasons to make sure your agency has commercial insurance. To learn about other important reasons, get in touch with American Tri-Star. In addition to reliable business insurance, we also offer auto, home, health, and RV insurance in Chula Vista. Call 619-827-0522 today to speak with one of our friendly agents and receive a complimentary quote.