Identity Theft

Identity theft is the compromise of an individual’s identity. Everyone is probably aware of identity theft in terms of a lost credit card, or stolen bank account number. There is little difference when thinking about Identity Theft in the cyber world. If someone steals your credit card – the next think you know you are getting a call from your credit card company telling you about the $X,XXX in charges that can’t remember making. In the cyber realm, the same think can happen when an attacker steals your identity to log in to a computer. Next target – your online bank account.

In the past, cyber attacks and identity theft primarily threatened large corporations. As these businesses began devoting more resources to secure their information systems and user identities, hackers began to focus their attention on businesses that were not dedicating the proper resources to cyber security. Today identity theft is a $48 billion threat and this has undoubtedly made your customers very aware of this real and dangerous risk.

The best strategy for the small business owner involves education and gut instinct. Learn what the current threats are, and remain cognizant of their fluid nature and ability to change and adapt. This will cause you to be mindful of the information you transmit through unsecure means. For example, after reading about current threats for as little as ten minutes you would soon think twice (or not at all) about sending password information through an email. Similarly, if you have any question as to whether or not a document should be destroyed electronically or shredded physically, shred it. This will take virtually no additional effort and can greatly reduce the risk your business faces. Your business should also not hesitate to look for an insider when assessing damages and searching for a security breach. Common sense and education really is the best approach.