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Taking Steps to Protect Company Against Identity Theft

The alarming increase in the number of incidents involving identity theft has spurred individuals and businesses to take necessary measures to protect themselves against it. One of the most common actions undertaken is to learn more about how it is perpetrated through ID theft training.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States had reported alarming numbers of ID theft incidents in the last five years. As of 2006, ID theft cost consumers and businesses in the United States $56.6 billion.

The increasing incidents of stealing identification of individuals in different parts of the world, especially in United States and Canada, have made it imperative for managers to protect company against identity theft.

Identity theft is commonly defined as the illegal use of another personís identity for the purpose of committing theft or fraud. Some of the data that are used to commit this are name, birth date, and other vital information such as social security numbers, driverís license, credit card numbers and passports. Once these data are obtained, these personal information are used to control or create financial accounts, loan application, purchase of goods and services or the transfer of bank balances. Some engage in this anomalous activity to aid terrorism and human trafficking. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, this crime can be classified into four categories. It is considered a financial identity theft when another personís identity is used to obtain certain goods and services. It is a criminal identity theft when a culprit uses another personís identity when apprehended for a certain crime. It is a commercial or business identity theft if another identity is used to obtain credit. Lastly, this crime can be categorized as identity cloning when another personís identity is assumed in daily life. Among the most common forms of this crime are credit card fraud, loan fraud and utility fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the United States had reported alarming numbers of ID theft incidents in the last five years. As of 2006, ID theft cost consumers and businesses in the United States $56.6 billion. In the occurrence of this crime, it is the individual that suffers most since they would need to exert considerable effort into regaining their privacy and their lives. In fact, the average consumer victimized by this crime spends about $808 for expenses and about 175 hours in an effort to remedy it. ID theft victims may come from different segments of the society and in every age group. Identity thieves usually target those consumers who have good credit ratings. Aside from individuals, small businesses, corporations and financial institutions may also fall prey to ID thieves. They not only incur financial losses, they also suffer from damage to their credibility and reputation.

Given the alarming scope and impact of this crime, measures should be taken to protect company against identity theft. One of the ways to do this is to make employees and more aware about how this is perpetrated so that they can do something to prevent it. Identity theft training may center on the physical and electronic methods of committing ID theft. Among the most common of these methods is theft from government or company databases. To prevent this, many companies have implemented tighter control on the release of sensitive data about their customers and employees to protect personally identifiable information. There is no comprehensive ID theft protection solution available in the market today. Rather, ID theft can only be avoided through a combination of best practices, training and new technologies.

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