It's your identity to protect.
Your name and social security number is all that is needed for today's modern criminal to commit a crime of fraud or identity theft. It would be devastating to your business if a criminal was able to get your client data and victimize your clients.
To help minimize identity theft from happening to your business or yourself you can follow these steps:
- Toss out your junk mail and trash carefully, shred any important documents with your personal information listed.
- Put any outgoing mail in a post office collection box rather than an unsecured mailbox.
- Shred any credit card receipts or credit applications, and any personal information such as insurance forms.
- If your company deals with a large volume of documents that need to be shredded consider utilizing a company such as Shred It (http://www.shredit.com/) or Weyerhaeuser to help with document destruction.
For more tips about minimizing the risk of identity theft log onto the Federal Trade Commission web site at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/con_minimize.htm#minimize
To help minimize identity theft on the internet or via your computer you can follow these steps:
- Your computer's virus protection software should be updated on a regular basis.
- Only open files and picture sent to you as attachments in your email by people you know.
- It is important to use a firewall program, even if you utilize a high-speed Internet connection like cable, DSL or T-1 which leaves your computer connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.
- Make sure that your browser is secure and uses software that encrypts information sent over the Internet, this will protect your online transactions
- Set up passwords with a strong combination of letters both upper and lower case as well as numbers and symbols. Log onto eHow to learn ways in which you can set up a password you can remember but one that is also secure http://wiki.ehow.com/Remember-Your-Password
For more tips on safe computing log onto OnGuardOnline.gov http://onguardonline.gov/stopthinkclick.html
If your business has become a victim of identity theft or you would like more information about how to protect your business then review the information from the Federal Trade Commission Information Compromise and the Risk of Identity Theft: Guidance for Your Business http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/idtrespond.htm
At the local level within the Sacramento Sheriff's department, there is a Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force which investigates identity theft crimes. For more information visit their web site at http://www.sachitechcops.org/idtheft.htm
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