Identity theft in the workplace
Identity theft is a serious problem and identity thieves are constantly coming up with new ways to obtain personal information. Our customers trust us to keep their sensitive information private and secure, and we take that responsibility very seriously.
It is important that we all do our part to prevent identity fraud and protect our clients. This includes taking security measures so that customer information is shared only with necessary parties. Unfortunately, fraud often comes from inside an organisation, so it is important to be aware of security internally, as well as when dealing with people outside the company.
Your computer likely contains the most sensitive customer information. Follow these guidelines so that this information is kept secure:
- Never leave passwords where anyone can find them.
- When you step away from your computer, always “lock” the screen.
- Do not allow unauthorised persons to access your computer.
- When sending email with personal data, make sure it is encrypted for security.
Only gather or provide sensitive customer information through company-approved channels. Do not use personal email (or if you must, be sure to encrypt the message). Follow company policies to verify the identity of the customer when giving out or changing any personal information. Use discretion when offering or receiving personal information over the phone – this is a common way for thieves to commit identity fraud.
When stepping away from your desk or leaving for the day, do not leave any paperwork with sensitive information lying on your desk. It should be filed in a locked drawer or cabinet. When disposing of personal information materials, use the paper shredder or secure recycling container.
Above all, be aware of the potential for identity theft when handling personal data. If you are ever suspicious of a transaction or conversation you are having, follow your instincts and pursue further verification before proceeding with the customer’s request. Talk to your supervisor if you have a question about procedure or need assistance with a particular transaction. If we all do our part, we can prevent identity fraud from occurring and protect our company and clients