Many people take their identity for granted. As much as we know who we are and have the right documents to prove it, we should remain vigilant in protecting our personal information. A victim of identity theft may still have personal documents their possession, but someone else possesses fundamental data, which they use for their financial gain. Identity theft is a personal and financial nightmare that might take many years to resolve. However, one has great opportunities to prevent identity theft by staying alert and taking the right precautions.
Retention of Information
The best way for a company or individual to reduce the possibility of identity theft is to limit the amount of information disclosed when doing external transactions with other companies or business partners. One should only disclose the data needed for completion of a transaction, which include security number, card number, and expiry date. A company must not archive any other additional information such as social security number. When the transaction is complete, the company should delete any personal information left on their system unless there is permission to retain such information.
A company ought to have appropriate measures that alert the credit card firms about their customers in case the company’s system are breached. The company should remain proactive if they suspect that identity theft might have occurred. By warning, the credit card companies of a potential identity theft, the company allows corrective actions to be taken ahead off the problem before it begins.
Protection of Computer Systems
When a company archives customers’ personal data during a transaction, it is risky to assume that it has right measures needed to protect the information. Any company that retains client’s information ought to have updated protection of their computer systems and databases to prevent theft of the data. The firms should consider using secured websites to limit the amount of information that is accessible on the internet. In addition, firewalls, which protect the customers’ personal data, should regularly be updated. The company’s database should have multiple layers of encrypted protection.
In closing, in case of identity theft,one should call their credit card or bank companies as soon as possible and alert their local police department. Alternatively, one can file a fraud report with Federal Trade Commission and request them for a fraud alert in your accounts. In doing so, one’s credentials cannot be used without their express permission and one’s identity remains protected