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When it comes to business identity theft, no one is immune. Businesses and investors are particularly vulnerable, because they typically have more assets than the average person that can be compromised. If you are a business owner or an investor, there are things you can and should be doing to protect yourself from identity thieves.

* Use a dedicated computer

If you have digital assets (which most business owners/investors will these days) it’s a very good idea to do everything you can to ensure the security of your computer. One of the best ways to do that is to purchase a dedicated computer for your financial dealings. Be sure to equip this computer with a good-quality antivirus program. Use this computer for your financials only; use your other computer for your daily tasks.

* Stay up to date on identity theft

Identity thieves are always coming up with new ideas to steal your information. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to stay abreast of the situation. As new methods of identity theft arise, new ways to protect yourself will, too, and you’ll need that information to stay protected.

* Keep your computer physically protected

In addition to protecting your computer’s internals with things like antivirus software, it’s important to also keep your computer physically safe. Identity thieves can find ways to target the actual location of your computer, so it’s important to keep your computer’s location safe, too. Read antivirus reviews on this site

* Protect your domain’s privacy

It’s relatively easy to search for the full name, physical address and phone number for most domain registrants, which puts the domain owner at risk. However, it’s possible to keep your contact info private by pay a fee to keep your identifying information possible. This is a very wise move, especially considering the fee is typically quite low (around $10 for a year).

* Keep your private information private

This may sound obvious, but the more information you give out online, the more vulnerable you are to identity theft. If you are going to discuss investment interests online (which is quite common these days) be sure you are doing so through a protected Internet connection and be sure you know who you are talking to. Also, it’s always a good idea to keep your online accounts and your real-life identity as unlinked as possible for maximum protection.

* Watch out for schemes If you are looking to invest in real estate, it’s absolutely imperative to be on the lookout for identity theft schemes. For example, some thieves will pose as a landlord or seller and have you complete the rental agreement online. In filling out the application, you’ll be providing the other party with lots of personal identifying information. Always fill out such paperwork in person. If the seller or landlord insists that you provide the information online, back away from the deal. It’s probably a scam.

* Purchase identity theft protection

The importance of proactive identity theft protection cannot be overstated. Otherwise, you could be faced with a serious financial loss and breach of your personal information’s safety at the hands of an identity thief. Fortunately, there are lots of options out there for identity theft protection services that are designed to keep you and your financial information safe. Do some research to find the best service provider for your needs. Here is one of the best (and updated) list of identity theft companies online. The money you spend on protecting yourself will always be money well spent, whether someone ever tries to steal your information or not.

* Protect yourself against fraudulent transactions

There are all kinds of ways for people with nefarious intentions to get their hands on your personal information. For example, identity thieves can use spyware to steal your banking details and make transfers from your bank account. The result of that could be a huge financial loss for your company, because even when identity thieves are caught the funds are rarely recovered. To keep yourself protected, it’s a good idea to have a two-step authentication for any transaction to go through. In other words, two different parties would have to agree on the transaction before it can go forward. Additional safeguards such as multiple types of verification steps are always a good idea, too, as they ensure the security of each transaction.

* Send cheques safely and securely

Traditional paper cheques are very vulnerable to identity theft, as they contain lots of trackable, identifying information. These days, however, more businesses are using electronic chequing systems. These systems allow you to track the cheques you send out, requiring that anyone who attempts to cash a cheque from you must first be authorized to do so. This prevents unauthorized parties from cashing cheques on your account. With forged cheques being a real threat to businesses, cheque verification services can be a really vital way to keep your business accounts protected and serve as a type of liability insurance for your business.

* Keep your paperwork under wraps

As already mentioned, cheques are a goldmine of information for identity thieves. To keep your financial accounts safe, ensure that your company’s chequebook is kept secured at all times. In addition, things like endorsement stamps, deposit slips and other paper trails that lead to your company’s accounts should always be kept secure, to be accessed by authorized personnel only. This should include anything that leads to your company’s checking account, to your personal identity and all other sensitive information. A filing cabinet with a lock does not provide adequate security as the lock is easily compromised. Instead, invest in a lockbox.

For more information on that topic, you also can go to this article on business identity theft.

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