News & Resources

FTC issues extend guidance for identity theft avoidance

Nov 05, 2012 Dave King

The prevalence of identity theft has been consistently rising for decades and has been more recently bolstered by the widespread adoption and use of electronic systems. While ID verification practices must be tight, businesses now have more responsibilities than ever before, many of which relate to records and data management best practices. Regulatory and law enforcement officials have been increasing efforts to cull the rate of identity theft across the nation, pushing more investigations and rolling out new best practices with relative regularity. Businesses need to protect employees and clients to avoid incurring losses from identity theft, and deter the risks of sanctions and fines. Guidance from the FTC
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released guidance to help businesses keep identity thieves from thwarting their systems, The Associated Press reports. According to the news provider, the FTC defines the best practices as the "three D's," which include processes to deter and detect threats, while defending consumer identities. To deter thieves, the AP explained that businesses and individuals should always destroy any financial documents, never click on suspicious links in emails from unknown or suspect senders and be smart with Social Security number disclosures. Further, the source added that using electronic platforms to transfer personal information should be done with due diligence. Detection is key in the fight against identity theft, as the most costly cases are often those that take place over a long stretch of time. Regularly checking all accounts and being vigilant with accounts payable and receivable can help businesses and individuals better reduce the risks, the AP reported. Defense is the reactionary portion, as the FTC said that once a case is uncovered, the individual or company must place a fraud alert on any lines of credit, while completely shutting down accounts that were used to steal the identity. Diligent ID verification imperative
Businesses can be the first and last lines of defense against identity theft, as using strong and consistent ID verification practices can keep criminals at bay. Aside from the amount of money at stake, a company's reputation can be largely dismantled if it is found to have been negligent during an identity theft case. Further, business identity theft is a growing problem, as many fraudulent forces have been increasingly targeting small companies to successfully obtain money. Following guidance from the FTC and other regulators can keep all firms safe from criminals.