According to recent reports, identity theft is on the rise. Javelin Strategy reported identity theft resulted in an annual loss of $56 million in a mixed result of different criminal and fraudulent activities last year.
When it comes to keeping your business database secure, there can be numerous challenges. If you are worried about your company being the next victim of business identity theft, here’s what you need to know to help protect yourself.
Common Types of Business Identity Thefts
If you’re wondering if you’ve sustained an attack on your business data, here are some examples that may help you identify such attempts:
1. Fake Accounts
You may have heard of people and bots impersonating organizations, celebrities and government officials. These profiles disrupt the traffic that is meant for your authentic profiles. Then, they may post inaccurate or malicious content from their pages and even hack into your database and release sensitive information through these profiles.
Phishing occurs when the entity stealing your identity uses email services to pretend to be your representative. As a result, they may misinform your current and potential clientele, ask for money or sensitive information or carry out other criminal or unethical activities.
3. Fake Invoices
If you have customers who report receiving unidentified or fake invoices, that may also be a data theft attempt on your business identity. A list of your customers’ contact details may be enough to attempt this kind of theft.
4. Website Mimicry
If your web analytics report shows high search results, but you don’t get matching numbers on your website visits, there is a chance that someone has made a duplicate website with your brand identity.
5. Logo Theft
Logo theft is when another brand or individual copies your logo, makes minor changes to it and uses it to represent themselves. This could impact your identity, so you may have to pay ransom to the thieving party to get them to take their logo down.
What To Do If You Fall Victim to Business Identity Theft?
If you fear you’ve fallen victim to business identity theft, here are some tips to help keep the harm contained until you’ve initiated legal actions:
- Inform all those who may be affected due to the theft. This includes all your internal and external publics and stakeholders, such as employees, executives, customers, investors, advertisers, etc.
- Run a security check. You may get your IT department to thoroughly examine the origin of theft and potential leaks in your data flow that may have caused the incident. If you fear something graver, you may employ a third party to conduct an analysis.
Where to Report Business Identity Theft?
Once you’ve taken care of preliminary protection against the theft, it’s time to report the incident to an official so they may start their legal proceedings. The Internal Revenue Service is the first go-to in this situation. You may also inform other entities who are currently engaged with your business. The IRS has a business helpline that makes it easier to report and get updates on your identity theft.
How To Help Protect Your Business from Identity Theft?
Here are protective measures to help avoid business identity theft:
1. Security Updates
You may opt for advanced security systems, such as fake profile detention, spam email detection, unauthorized personnel detection, and other security options.
2. Update Your Data Regularly
Updating and backing up your data often can help you get rid of potential hackers and thieves and make it more difficult for bad actors to breach your databases.
3. Personal Identity Protection
In a world that focuses extensively on brand image, you need to keep your personal as well as your business identity untainted. To help protect your personal data, it’s best to invest in identity theft protection.