Protect Your Business Credit Identity
As a business owner, I was shocked to learn what I discovered about business credit identity theft. Here are some facts you should know if you are a business owner:
1. A Business Credit Report Is Publicly Available
Individuals have credit reports that are private from public view. However, that is not the case with business credit reports. Anyone can see them, including information that should remain confidential. As a result, a business owner is more open to fraud and other manipulative schemes from criminals.
2. Identity Thieves Can Change Information On Reports
When identity thieves get hold of business credit reports, they can change the information on the reports. These reports are more than often self-reported. For this reason, the risk is great for a thief to change data on the business registration information of a company. For example, they can amend the number of employees or a company’s annual revenues.
How can a business owner protect his or her business from identity theft?
1. Understand Your Business Bank Account
If your business is a victim of identity theft, understand your bank’s policies and liabilities about fraudulent transactions. Business accounts have fewer protections than individual accounts, and some actions may not be covered.
2. Protect Wire And Electronic Payments
Wire and electronic payments are easy targets for identity thieves. A skilled criminal can work their way into your accounts. Even though you can report losses from this form of theft, you may not recoup all that you have lost due to the speeds of these frauds.
Enact dual controls for wire and electronic payments that require two-person or more authorization. In addition, set a limit on the amount of money that can be wired.
3. Switch To Online Banking
If you regularly monitor your business banking account, the greater your chance of catching an identity thief right away. Online banking allows you to log-in and check the status of your account immediately. You can also receive email and text alerts for any activity in your account. Paper statements can be eliminated, reducing the risk of fraud associated with such statements.
4. Access Your Account From One Dedicated Computer
When accessing online banking, be sure to do it from one dedicated computer. Don’t look at your account from a variety of computers, especially one that is public and used by many, such as a computer in a hotel.
5. Don’t Access Your Account On Public Wi-Fi
Free Internet is available in many places, such as coffee shops or hotels. However, you should never access your business banking account from public Wi-Fi. These are not secure or protected and are easily open to theft.
6. Use Strong Passwords
You need a password to get into your business banking account. Make sure that it’s a strong password with at least eight characters. The password should include upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
If you are a business owner, follow these tips to protect against identity theft. Every business is vulnerable to these criminals.
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