Page 7 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- December 2017
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DECEMBER 2017 UPPER PENINSULA BUSINESS TODAY PAGE 7
Is Your Company Protected From Identity Theft?
It’s a busy time of year for businesses with the holiday season in full swing. While you should be ensuring your company is protected from identity theft all year long, it is even more impor- tant during the busiest time of the year. Identity theft doesn’t just happen to consumers.
How does it happen? Criminals look for ways to steal a business’ identity by gaining access to bank accounts, credit cards and other sensitive company information. Some of these thieves’ popular tricks include hacking into databases, phishing emails, malware, swiping credit card or other pertinent information in the workplace, or even dumpster diving for sensitive paper- work. Criminals take the information they find to secure lines of credit or other loan products, leaving it all at the business’ unknowing expense.
Melanie Duquesnel, BBB President and CEO, says “While this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, criminals can often make it a very grim one by stealing your com- pany’s private information. It is important to ensure that your business’s information is safe and secure but if something were to happen,
make sure you know the signs of identity theft so that you may reverse the effects early on.”
BBB warns businesses to be on the lookout for the following red flags of ID theft:
• You receive a request to verify orders you did- n’t place.
• You receive phone calls from someone trying to verify an
address for your
business that is
not associated with your compa- ny or that you cannot confirm.
• You receive invoices for stor- age, shipping or other services that you did not pur- chase.
• You receive
credit card bills for
credit you never applied for.
The following tips can protect your compa- ny against identity thieves:
• Protect your business’s bank accounts. Review your commercial banking agreements to determine your protections and reporting requirements. Consider using a two-person authorization, or other arrangement, with your bank to protect against fraudulent transactions. Beware of phishing scams and monitor your
bank account(s) fre- quently.
• Protect your busi- ness’s identifying infor- mation. Guard your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Tax Identification Number (TIN) the way you would your own Social Security number. Don’t give them out unless required and shred old documents containing your business ID infor-
mation. If your business is required to give out your EIN, make certain you are sharing it with the actual recipient and keep a close eye on your
credit report.
• Protect and monitor your state business reg-
istration information. Regularly review your information with your secretary of state to make sure your information hasn’t been changed or updated without authorization.
• Protect and monitor your business’s credit card, supplier and trade accounts. Keep an inventory of all accounts and key contact infor- mation. Review and reconcile account state- ments as soon as they are received and immedi- ately alert your credit providers if you find fraud- ulent activity.
• Protect your business’s computers and net- works. Restrict use of your business computers to only business activities. Install anti-virus soft- ware and keep it updated regularly. Secure your company’s wireless network.
• Always keep personal and business finances separate and consider placing a credit security freeze on your personal credit report to make it harder for thieves to open new accounts under your business’s name.
It is important to ensure that your business’s information is
safe and secure but if something were to happen, make sure you know the signs of identity theft so that you may reverse the effects early on.
WILLIAM L. KARR, P.S.
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
816 ASHMUN STREET - SUITE 1 P.O. BOX 758
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI 49783 E-MAIL: wkarr@sidockgroup.com (906) 632-1500 Fax: (906) 632-3220
BRADLEY J. BUTCHER, AIA, NCARB
SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER
757 S. WISCONSIN
GAYLORD, MI 49735
E-MAIL: bbutcher@sidockgroup.com
(989) 705-8400 Fax: (989) 705-8403 Cell: (989) 370-4570
JEFFREY M. MUDROCH, PE
PROJECT MANAGER
816 ASHMUN STREET - SUITE 1
P.O. BOX 758
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI 49783
E-MAIL: jmudroch@sidockgroup.com
(906) 632-1500 Fax: (906) 632-3220 Cell: (906) 203-0628
PATRICIA A. WEINREIS, P.S.
PROJECT MANAGER
816 ASHMUN STREET - SUITE 1 P.O. BOX 758
SAULT STE. MARIE, MI 49783 E-MAIL: pweinreis@sidockgroup.com (906) 632-1500 Fax: 906-632-3220
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