Many business owners are not taking enough steps to protect important information such as payroll records. According to a study from CNN Money, one person is struck with identity theft every two seconds. Fortunately, you can lower your chances of having your identity stolen by following these tips.
Use Unique and Strong Passwords
Creating a unique password for every website you visit can help lessen your threats for identity theft. Try making your password a phrase or noun and create an acronym for it. For example, if you’re favorite place is New York City, you can make that into “n3w70rkcitE.” A password like this one is easy for you to remember, and can get you past the requirements many sites make when choosing a password.
Using a password management system like LastPass is another way to secure your information. It will help you make tough passwords simpler to remember and will automatically back up your passwords under a secure server.
Enable Two-Step Verification
Two-Step Verification requires two separate actions to log onto a certain website. If you use Google for mail, enabling two step verification is easy. You can enable it for many different secure websites. When the site you are visiting does not recognize your IP address or location, that website will send you a code via text message or e-mail after logging in with your normal credentials. Once you are set up, the site or service you use basically sets up trust with the device you are logging on with.
Back Up Your Data Frequently In Multiple Places
You never know what can happen to your computer or network. It’s a smart idea to store your information in multiple places, such as the cloud, an external hard drive, or another storage device. Have the documents saved in three places, so that way if one fails, you will have two other places where you can find that file. However, make sure each back up is secure with a unique password.
Learn How to Encrypt Your Information
Encrypt means that you are setting up a barrier that prevents foreign devices from accessing a certain file or folder. It makes the user enter a password set by the administrator to access a specific file. This is great to use for important information like financial records.
Shred Your Documents
If you receive printed statements in the mail or print out your online statements, you need to shred them properly so that your personal information remains safe. A shredder from the Fellowes Automax series would allow you to shred documents as they are, even if they are fastened together with staples. Shredders have different kinds of cuts for different levels of security –
- The strip cut shred provides the most basic of security. Ideal for low priority confidentiality.
- Both are cross cut shredders so it makes reassembling of paper a very difficult task. Each level shredder with provide between 300 and 400 shredded particles.
- This is a micro-cut shredder that will produce over 3,700 paper particles. Made for highly confidential items.
- The P-7 level shredder was designed to destroy top secret information by producing 15,000 pieces of shredded paper.
However, if your office requires that you physically print things out and only need to block certain information on a paper, consider an identity theft protection stamp. The self-inking stamp is designed to leave an impression and hide personal information.
There are many ways to protect your personal information. Don’t leave it all out there for everyone to see. Protect your office and yourself.