Do you have secure information in those business files?
When asked whether they need a written secure destruction policy to protect both their business and client information, most business owners might say “No, we handle our processes internally.”
The truth is, most people just don’t think it will happen to them.Unfortunately, however, business information theft is a serious and common occurrence and no one is immune – from the owner/operator employers all the way to Fortune 500 companies.
If we don’t act now to safeguard our privacy, we could all become victims of identity theft.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics in reported that in 2012, the cost of identity theft to Americans was $24.7 billion. By some estimates identity theft drains the American economy of $56 billion annually.
Small Business Information Protection Against Identity Theft
When most people think of identity theft they think about their private lives, but businesses information is at risk as well. In fact, private companies are at a greater risk than public ones, and both are at greater risk than government agencies.
Businesses hold a variety of sensitive information. All information relating to customers, vendors and employees needs to be securely destroyed.The costs to individual small to mid-sized businesses (with 100 or fewer employees) can be between $100K and $200K annually. It is tough to grow a business with those kinds of losses. That is why Canadian company Deloitte said in its report: ”It pays to be proactive.” We agree wholeheartedly.
Defensive Tactics for Identity Theft
Employee training, firewalls, passwords, dedicated computers for banking, and insurance can all help protect the sensitive information your company collects.
Remember, if you do not absolutely need a piece of sensitive information, don’t collect it in the first place, or at the very least, destroy it immediately.
It’s easy to see these studies and think that you’ll put programs in place someday, but it’s best to have policies and procedures that protect your business and each individual involved in place, today. Policies and procedures help make document security a natural part of your business and its everyday tasks. It also assists in audit compliance, and a reduction in your liability if you ever were to fall victim to a sensitive information breach of any kind.
As part of your security procedures, we recommend a strategic shredding program to eliminate sensitive paper items on a regular, recurring, and documented schedule while utilizing locking containers for interim material storage. We also recommend a program to incorporate the regular disposal and physical destruction of sensitive information on hard drives and other information and mass storage media.
Sensitive information includes:
- Tax documents
- Medical records
- Bank records
- Personnel files
- Payroll records
- Profit and loss statements
- And much, much more
Do you have questions about business information protection or developing a written destruction policy for your business? Reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help!
Identity Theft; The Real Business Risks. Concerned about identity theft ? Shred Alaska is Alaska’s premier document destruction service and NAID certified provider.