Personal identity theft is always a worry, especially when you’re the owner of a business. If someone were to steal your identity, they could steal your entire livelihood simply by claiming that they were you. In fact, if they get away with it long enough, they can claim your business as their own. Even though it’s not likely, it’s still important that you take steps to protect yourself and your assets before someone decides they want to steal everything you worked so hard for.
So how do you protect yourself and your company?
Sign Up for Electronic Billing
Everyone that is billing you should offer electronic statements. This is much more secure for several reasons. A mailbox is easy to open, and though it’s a crime to steal mail, it’s something that’s easy to do. It’s much more difficult to get into several secure networks – such as bank and utility company websites – than it is to reach in and steal a piece of mail.
Freeze Your Credit
If you’re not planning on buying a new home or car in the near future, you can do a “freeze” on your credit. This means that a credit reporting company cannot give out your credit report to anyone without consent. A passcode will be given to you and the only way to have your credit report released to anyone or any company is to give temporary access with the passcode.
Get Your Annual Credit Report
You can receive an annual credit report for no charge from the main three credit bureaus. Annualcreditreport.com can help you get this report for yourself. It includes every detail that’s on your credit report, including amount of debt, past-due payments, and even college loans and credit inquiries. This can indicate if anyone has opened any lines of credit under your name or has taken steps to take any part of your identity.
Though it does take diligence and some cash to protect your identity, it’s incredibly important you do so for the safety of yourself and your business.