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Business and Identity Theft

Are you as a business frequently exposing your clients to identity theft? Do you –

-Conduct a criminal or civil background check before hiring employees who will have access to personal identifying information?

-Provide cross-cut paper shredders at each workstation or cash register area or uses a locked wastebasket and shredding company for the disposal of credit card slips, unwanted applications or documents, sensitive data or prescription forms?

-Use an alternate number instead of Social Security Numbers (SSN) for employee, client and customer ID numbers?

-Ever send out mail that includes complete Social Security Number?

-Require health insurance providers to use an alternate number rather than the SSN for membership numbers on health insurance cards?

-Have trained designated staff with security procedures in sending sensitive personal data by fax, email or telephone?

-Keep sensitive information of consumers or employees on any item (time cards, badges, work schedules, licenses) out of view in public areas; that may include home addresses or phone numbers, SSN and driver’s license numbers?

-Notify affected individuals in a timely manner in the event of a computer breach of a database that contains sensitive information?

-Require any items for security (to get gaming equipment or a locker) that contain personal identifying information? If you do request a customer to give an item for security, the item is not a driver’s license, Social Security Card or other card with identifying information.

-Place photos on employee identification cards or badges for better identification and security?

-Keep all personal data about employees and customers in locked cabinets and out of public areas?

-Encrypt or password protect all sensitive data stored on computers and allow access only on a “need-to-know” basis?

-Train your employees in how to receive personal identifying information from customers and clients without jeopardizing client security?

-Notify consumers and employees in advance as to the purposes of the data collection, to whom it will be distributed and the subsequent use after the fulfillment of the original purpose?

-Ever ask for more data than absolutely necessary. For example, a health club does not need a Social Security Number, nor does a vet really need your driver’s license number?

Each item illustrates what businesses can do to reduce the risk of identity theft. It’s your responsibility to make the consumer aware, and protected.

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About the Author

Darrold G & Joy Parker, Independent Associates/LegalShield
Mesa, AZ 85205

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