According to CIFAS, identity fraud has risen by 163 percent since 1999 and it is one of the fastest growing types of fraud in the UK – hitting individuals and businesses hard. In the United States alone, 12.6 million cases were registered under identity theft in 2012. This is something really disheartening. To add to woe, Identity Theft Resource Center has revealed that it requires around 600 hours for restoring the lost reputation once it is ruined because of identity theft.
It is not possible to entirely prevent identity fraud but you can do a lot to help limit the impact identity theft has on your business or you as an individual. Manage your personal information carefully and look after your customer data securely, and you can substantially reduce the risk that you’ll suffer from this potentially devastating financial crime.
1. Be Careful With Your Cards
If you apply for a new credit card and it hasn’t arrived promptly, contact the issuer. Once you receive a card immediately sign the back and activate it. Make sure that you safeguard your cards when you carry them around and limit the amount you have in your wallet. Keep checking the credit report at regular intervals to ensure that no fraud transaction has taken place through your credit card..
2. Use Your Common Sense with Customers and Suppliers
Customers and suppliers will mostly be genuine – wanting to make a purchase or sell their services to you. But sometimes a supplier or customer will be looking to make fraudulent gains at your expense. When a customer is making a transaction or a supplier is offering you a business deal, use common sense and gut instinct as well as financial savvy. If something seems too good to be true, you may end up regretting it.
3. Protect Customer Documents
Carefully store and dispose of documents relating to customers’ financial details, employee data, and confidential business data. This involves storing the information in a way that unauthorised people cannot access it, and also disposing of the documents in a secure way – throwing documents away is not good enough as criminals will look through rubbish to find information. Confidential shredding is the best option for documents. A quick look online shows experts like simplyshred.co.uk offering a convenient service for businesses needing to dispose of documentation. At home, you can use a personal shredder to securely get rid of your mail and other items – don’t throw away receipts, tax information, bank statements, or credit offers.
4. Be Careful Passing on Personal Information
Never give out the personal information of customers, clients, employees, or yourself by email, or over the internet, without being entirely certain that the system is secure. Avoid giving out personal details over the phone. And never give anyone your credit card number if you are not sure exactly what it is being used for.
5. Be Careful With Your Bills
Pay attention to billing cycles for your business and personal accounts. If you are expecting a bill and it hasn’t arrived, it could be a sign that someone has taken over your account and changed your billing address. Call the provider or creditor to check if you are unsure.
6. Limit Who Has Access to Your Information
Be careful to put proper safeguards in place to limit who in your company can access certain data and confidential information. Personnel records, accounts, and other sensitive information should be kept in a place where only employees with a legitimate need can access them.
All these precautionary measure can work the best for you and you can successfully check identity theft to some extent.
James is a student exploring identity theft prevailing across the world all over. In this article, he has tried to bring to notice some easy methods of preventing this theft. He also says that simplyshred.co.uk shows a convenient way of protecting your document from any kind of theft.