5 Ways to Protect Your Organization from Identity Theft
December is National Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention Month
How can you protect your organization from a data breach and ensure confidential information is secure against identity theft? Types of business records vulnerable to identity theft include:
- Financial documents
- HR records
- Customer files
- Tax records
- Insurance documents
- AP/AR files
Develop a Records Retention Schedule
Developing a records retention policy for your organization can reduce the risk for a security breach. By identifying the lifespan of sensitive records, you can assure that they are destroyed in a timely manner, and not stored on someone’s desk or an unlocked file cabinet – vulnerable to a breach. To get started creating a records retention policy, take a look at your documents and define their purpose. Are they active records with frequent retrievals? Or are they old records required by law to be stored for several years? Consider offsite document storage for active records that are cluttering the office and ones that you’re required to keep. Consider a document shredding service for confidential records that have expired. This will help you determine the best way to store and manage files in a secure, cost efficient manner.
Document Shredding and Hard Drive Destruction
Document shredding and hard drive destruction are two of the biggest ways you can prevent against identity theft. A document shredding service can provide locked shred consoles for your office where employees can securely dispose of documents that have outlived their usefulness. It’s also important that you not recycle or stock pile hard drives, as you could be exposing tons of sensitive company data. Using a monthly document shredding service and hard drive destruction provider can ensure documents don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Stop Storing Sensitive Documents in Public Storage Units
If you’re currently storing your hard copy records in a self-storage unit, you’re leaving your organization extremely vulnerable to unwanted exposure. There are too many uncontrollable factors that impact business productivity, jeopardize client privacy, and damage your organization’s reputation. The good news is – pulling your records out of a self-storage unit is easy! Record Storage Systems will purge, pack, and transport all boxes to our secure facility where you will have peace of mind knowing your documents are protected throughout their lifecycle.
Limit Access to Critical Electronic Records
Electronic records are becoming increasingly susceptible to data breaches, as the paperless office trend increases in popularity. Electronic records storage and content management software can help HR and AP departments operate more efficiently, but there are data security risks involved. Choose a software that allows you to set permissions and created customized workflows so that only employees with authorized access can view certain information, including onboarding records, payroll information, and invoicing.
Conduct Regular Audits and Risk Management Assessments
Conducting a risk management assessment is an excellent way to catch vulnerabilities within your document management process, prepare you for audits, and prevent identity theft. Is sensitive information traveling via unencrypted email? Are social security numbers exposed on documents that pass through multiple employees or departments within the organization? Organizations could be mismanaging data without even knowing it. A risk assessment can identify weaknesses within your internal workflows and help prevent accidental breaches.