According to Javelin Strategy & Research, “Small business owners are being disproportionally victimized by identity thieves.”1
So the short answer to the question is YES, you sure could become a target. But why? And what can you do about it?
As a small business owner, you may think identity thieves wouldn’t be interested because you’re not a giant corporation with a lot of money and information.
While you may have less accounts and money than a large corporation, “It’s the same information a big business would have – although not as much – but perhaps it’s more vulnerable because it’s easier to attack,” says Inc.com.2
Two ways your business is vulnerable:
If criminals obtain the identity information for your business, they could acquire credit under your business name—it’s called hijacking. You won’t have a clue until the bills start stuffing your mailbox or clogging your email. By then, an awful lot of damage could have been done to both your finances and your reputation.
If your business collects a lot of personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, birthdates, etc., there are laws that put the responsibility of protecting that information from data breach in your hands.
So what can you do to make yourself less of a target? Awareness, policy development and detection are three areas you’ll need to pay attention to in order to lower the risk for your business.
Visit these knowledgeable sources to learn more and get detailed action and implementation information. Your business may be small, but it is yours. Follow these links to expert advice to keep it that way.
How to Prevent Identity Theft in Your Business
U.S. Small Business Administration
How to Prevent and Detect Business Identity Theft
Better Business Bureau
Spotting Identity Theft
1 Strategic Insights Into Customer Transactions, Javelin Strategy &amp; Research, June 2012
2 How to Prevent Identity Theft in Your Business, Inc. March 30, 2010
Federal Trade Commission. “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book For January – December 2011.” February 2012.
Javelin Strategy & Research. "2012 Identity Fraud Report: Social Media and Mobile Forming the New Fraud Frontier." February 2012.