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September 23, 2015

Identity Theft: How Your Syracuse Business Can Avoid it

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The crime of identity theft is a growing, serious concern in Syracuse, New York state and all across the United States. It may be hard to believe but it has been reported that each year nearly 15 million American residents become victims of identity theft. As a business owner, identity theft crimes can have damaging effects on you, your staff, customers and associates. To name a few, there are legal problems, credit issues, financial losses and, of course, emotional effects. Making it worse is identity theft victims could be turned down for career opportunities, bank loans and more.

What can your business do to prevent identity theft?

Here are three ways that businesses can help prevent identity theft from happening to them.

1. Shred documents with sensitive information

First thing to do is making sure that you have your documents professionally shredded. By tossing out your documents and records into the trash, you are putting you, your staff and customers at risk of identity theft. A common way that thieves can steal your private information is by digging in company garbage. This is also known as dumpster diving. By having your sensitive documents regularly destroyed by the professionals, your risk of identity theft decreases. Why is that? When we arrive at your location, our fully bonded, background checked technicians will make sure that all your documents and records are 100% destroyed using our state-of-the-art shred equipment. We will shred your confidential documents into tiny pieces, which will then be mixed with other shredded paper. This will ensure you that your business and personal data cannot be recovered by unwanted sources. After each shred job, we will hand you a certificate of destruction, which will prove that the secure shredding process took place at a specific time and date.

In addition, we will give your Syracuse business secure, lockable bins and containers so you can store away your documents with the knowledge of knowing that your information is being safeguarded. Once we arrive at your location to begin the shred process, we will empty the containers and carefully put them back.

2. Create strong passwords for online devices

Next, ensure that you and your staff are using strong passwords on all your computer systems. Using basic passwords for your computer, such as birthdays, addresses and names, are far too common for data hackers to crack. The best thing to do is choosing a combination of letters and numbers. Even if you wanted to use elements from your life (An example would be your spouse’s name or your child’s name), mix it with other letters and numbers. Make sure that if an identity theft is trying to access your sensitive online accounts, cracking the password(s) will be very difficult. Also, remember to change your password once every 60 to 100 days.

3. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software

While setting strong passwords for your computer systems is a smart move, data hackers do have other ways of getting at your information. These hackers use specific software, like spyware, to access your computer without you even knowing it’s happening. You need to protect your computer! Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computers so all information remains secure.

For more information on how PROSHRED® Syracuse can assist your business with secure document shredding, please contact us at 1 (315) 333-2727.

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