Risk Management for Identity Theft

We use this blog space to identify and help manage the risks associated with identity theft.  A top risk area is non-secured documents.  A major area of risk presents itself when employees prepare the necessary information to complete a tax filing or similar confidential documents.  The data is often pulled from various locations and digital copies are frequently printed to be used as backup material. This can result in loose paperwork being stored on desktops or left at printing stations leaving the sensitive data vulnerable to snooping and data theft, and available to outside staff such as cleaners and building maintenance.

To manage the risk, implement a clear desk policy and having lockable storage units for employees can help protect confidential information not only during tax season, but throughout the year. Requiring employees to use a security code to complete a print job also ensures that confidential documents are not forgotten at printing stations.

Another area to consider is the increasing numbers of employees working from home offices or even just out on the road.  While the introduction of laptops, tablets, smart phones and external hard drives allow employees to work off-site, it also means an immense amount of confidential information is leaving the office with them. A single lost or stolen laptop has the potential to seriously damage any business.

To manage the risk, thoughtful and thorough training is a must to ensure employees understand and take appropriate precautions when removing any data from their workplace. They must not leave hardware or materials in vehicles, and should encrypt phones and hard drives, and activate passwords on electronic devices. Once out of use, devices should be securely destroyed.

Remember, we are all in this together.

For more information on identity theft best practices, please visit www.legalshredinc.com

by Judith