Corporate identity theft is a crime that can have massive implications for any business when somebody steals their identity for personal gain and use. The issue of how to prevent corporate identity theft must be taken as seriously as our previous article that covered how to prevent personal identity theft.
The rise in corporate identity theft has highlighted various types of criminal activity undertaking this crime. The main culprits are an individual or an organised group of criminals using business information for financial gain and perhaps most alarmingly, competitors bearing a grudge against their business rival looking to blacken their name through a variety of illegal operations.
As with personal identity theft the growth of the internet and technological applications can be attributed to a large percentage of corporate identity theft, the regular illegal actions reported include;
. Website Domains – Individuals and Competitors alike have been known to set up almost identical website domain names with an exact design of the intended visitor destination. For example, many fraudsters have tried to replicate online banking websites and steal people’s card and account details. This not only damages the individual but also blackens the name of the legitimate company. Competitor companies have also been known to set up similar domains to rivals to steal their traffic. Again this has an effect on the corporation’s day-to-day business success.
. Merchant Accounts – Individuals and companies alike may use your corporations good name to obtain credit that allows them to operate an internet merchant facility. This is damaging both to your business, in that your credit will be affected, and users of the rogue facility who hand over card details.
. Data Theft and Corruption – Many corporate identity theft criminals will try to hack into your computer to either corrupt sensitive data or to steal it for their own gain, for example, you may list all employees names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance numbers etc within your system, this data to criminals is like gold dust and could be used to commit identity theft and other crimes time and time again.
. Document and Sensitive Information – Simply throwing out unwanted letters and documents presents the easiest way for a criminal to expose your business. This is the most common type of corporate identity theft.
How to Prevent Corporate Identity Theft
There are simple but effective methods that every company should be taking to avoid becoming a victim of corporate identity theft. Paying attention to computer and network security is key. Have your IT staff check online for duplicate websites, similar domains and also your own sites security you can prevent any unwanted material being distributed onto your website or loss of business by reporting rogue sites. Buying domain names that are slightly varied to your main website with little spelling mistakes costs pounds, letting other people buy them could cost your company and its image an endless amount of financial damage.
As with personal identity theft, never put sensitive documents in the bin or leave them unattended, either have secure facilities where you can store company documents or shred any unwanted documents. Staff laptops and disk stored information that are misplaced in public places or at home can again leave the door open for fraud, identity theft and data corruption. Ensure all employees stick to a strict company policy.
Securing your company computer network by adding strict firewalls, updating and regularly running virus protection programmes, installing spyware or adware blocking programmes and making sure that company passwords are changed frequently. This will reduce the risk of dodgy sites being visited by employees, prevent viruses from imbedding themselves in your network and also help protect information or data that is password protected if the security access is ever-changing.
Taking all the above simple protective measures will significantly reduce the risk of corporate identity theft and covers the vital areas of how to prevent corporate identity theft. It is worth noting that criminals are always advancing and finding new methods so keeping up to date with their methods is vital. If you are unsure on the best way to ensure corporate identity theft protection please visit https://www.investigate.uk/ or call us today on freecall from mobile and landline 0800 14 55 123 and speak to one of our expert team, to find out how our corporate private investigators can help your company.