Identity fraud can be hugely expensive for the company but also have further reaching effects as a company’s credit rating can be affected, hindering access to crucial financial services, and a business’ reputation can be irreparably damaged. In difficult economic times such as these, a flawless reputation is essential to attract and retain customers.
In the financial year 2007-2008, 1,034 separate incidents of data loss occurred in the UK; 80% of these involved the theft of personal information. According to research for National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, only 64% of businesses have a clear policy on how to handle sensitive information. This highlights the vulnerability and perhaps complacency of UK organisations with regards to identity fraud prevention. This explains why up to 32% of employees admit to always throwing away sensitive information without destroying it first.
This kind of behaviour puts a business at tremendous risk but fortunately protecting paper-based information is very simple and cost-effective for any company, regardless of the size. Shredding all sensitive documents into confetti or “micro-sized” pieces immediately is the most effective way of keeping your confidential information just that, confidential. If you have a strip cut shredder your information can be easily pieced together by a fraudster – so shred size does matter and in the case of ID fraud prevention, smaller is better!
For those wondering about the security of their own business, Fellowes, the office products company has created the online test ‘How secure is your business’ available here with some top pointers on how you can easily improve your company’s security.
Plus to learn more about how to protect your business, you can download the “Mind your Own Business” guide created for last year’s National Identity Fraud Prevention Week.