For Small Business

Small Business and Identity TheftIf you are a small business owner, you may be a greater risk of identity theft.

Small business owners are one-and-a-half times more likely to be a victim than other adults, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report, cosponsored by ITAC.

Why Small Businesses are Targeted

Thieves know that small businesses often have lines of credit, cash reserves and business relationships that can be exploited.

Personal and employee information is often kept on unsecure computers or servers that are vulnerable to hackers
Small business “insiders” – employees, service providers, and even friends and family members – have access to digital and paper-based information that can be used to commit identity theft
Small business owners often don’t monitor their accounts for suspicious activity, meaning identity theft goes undetected for longer periods of time, resulting in higher out-of-pocket losses
Fraud committed by persons known to the small business owner often goes unreported because they are ashamed of being duped

What You Can Do

Identity theft can damage your credit score and ability to obtain credit.  Treat your personal information like cash – protect it and be stingy.

  • Be suspicious of requests for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)or your social security number
  • Install and update computer anti-virus software, operating system and applications updated
  • Store personal records – like tax and mortgage records – outside the workplace, limiting access to parties
  • Monitor internal bookkeeping for unauthorized withdrawals and purchases

Read the Protecting Yourself section for more information on how to secure your personal information.  To learn more about securing your customers’ personal information, go to Preparing for a Data Breach.


Small Business Resources

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau provides business owners with information on how they can protect personal information in the workplace.  Visit the BBB Data Security Center to learn more.


Copyright © 2013    ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, is the national advocate for identity theft victims and a leading voice on identity policy. Millions of consumers have access to the ITAC victim assistance service through our members - the financial services companies who support ITAC and offer it as a free service for their customers. ITAC is dedicated to protecting all consumers through education, research and the criminal prosecution of identity crime.