Tips to Encourage Employees to Fight ID Theft

March 17, 2011

On April 16, 2011, BBBs across the country will hold events to inform consumers about ways to protect their personally identifiable information and provide local shredding opportunities as part of BBB Secure your ID Day.

BBB employs a multi-pronged approach to battle identity theft and help consumers and businesses avoid this ever present marketplace problem.  In the Spring and Fall of each year, BBB coordinates an initiative to educate consumers and businesses about best practices surrounding the protection of data and personally identifiable information.

Resources to help your employees protect their information
BBB has a list of everyday habits to share with your employees to help them keep their data and information safe and secure.  If you have a newsletter, bulletin boards, intranet or other communication tools please help spread the word.  

Many people are not sure how long to retain documents.  A concise and easy to read record retention schedule is an essential tool for managing personal records.  

Effective document destruction is an important part of protecting one’s identity.  A personal shredder is a critical part of protecting an individual’s personal data.  If your employees have a large backlog of documents to destroy, you may want to coordinate an event for your employees or suggest they take advantage of the shredding services provided by their local BBB as part of BBB Secure your ID Day.  Dates, times and locations will be posted in early April for the April 21st event.  

Engaging employees to secure the work environment
Most national companies have fully developed data protection practices in place to secure data and personally identifiable information used in the course of the business day.  To assist small businesses, BBB worked with industry experts to create an easy to understand process to help in the management and protection of data and information.  If you are not sure if your small business partners have fully developed data protection plans in place, you may want to provide resources to assist them or let them know BBB has information available to assist.  

Even companies with established data protection programs in place may benefit from sharing the data security guide with their employees as a way to refocus on attention on the important job of data security.  By providing the information to employees and asking them to review current data protection practices it is a good way to reinforce that data protection is everyone’s responsibility and to add additional eyes and brainpower to make sure new policies or procedures have been appropriately calibrated with the goal of protecting personal information.  

According to Javelin Strategy and Research, identity thefts declined by 28% from 2009 to 2010, but the overall cost per incident nearly doubled from $387 to $631.   A continued focus by business and consumers is essential.