Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft Part 2

How To Arm Yourself Against The War On Your Identity

If you have not, I would recommend you read part 1 of this post, Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft. You can read it by clicking here

 

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: Continue Where We Left Off

While most people are familiar with identity theft, most business men and women never think about it happening to them, at least on a professional level. Consider this: if a criminal can learn your business checking account number or the number of your company credit card, they can steal far more from your business than if they had simply knocked down the door and carted off your desk.

The Internet aside, most business and personal identity theft is still the result of stolen wallets and dumpster diving. You should guard your business records closely and be very careful what you throw away. Stop and think for a moment what a criminal might find in the dumpster behind your office.

There’s a good chance that dumpster has, at various times, contained scraps of paper with your social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, old ATM cards, telephone calling cards, and other pieces of vital business information like bank statements, invoices, and purchase orders. A dumpster-diving thief could literally rob your business blind in a matter of hours.

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity TheftUnderstanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: Ways To Protect Yourself

Here are a few ways to protect yourself from business and personal identity theft.

  • Never give out your first name, last name, business name, email address, account passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information, PIN number, social security number, or driver’s license number.

  • Change your online account passwords every 30 days. Believe it or not, a hacker who steals your personal information can guess your online account passwords in about two minutes. If your Charles Schwab online account password is your birthday or the name of your first born or family pet, count on a hacker cracking that code faster than you can say ‘Bill Gates.’

  • Never provide personal information in response to an email or telephone call. Just because someone calls and says they are from Dunn & Bradstreet and need to confirm your business information does not mean they are really from Dunn & Bradstreet.

  • Never give your business credit card number over the phone to place an order with someone who has called you unsolicited. If you are interested in what they are selling get their number, check out their company, then call them back to place the order.

Understanding The Inside Business Of Identity Theft: What To Do If You Become A Victim

 

If you think that you have become the victim of identity theft or think someone is trying to steal your identity or personal information you should report them immediately to the Federal Trade Commission. You will find more information on their website, FTC. For more information on what to do if identity theft happens to you visit Privacy Rights.

So, if you ever receive an email from PayPal, Amazon, eBay, or any other ecommerce website asking you to update your account information by email you can pretty much bet the farm that it is a scam.

In business, as in life, a little paranoia is a good thing.

 


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Take Care And God Bless

Greg “Da Spokesman” Stargell

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