Identity theft a problem for all businesses

The Naperville Son
12/13/2006 – December 13, 2006
Business owners are facing a legal storm on the horizon; identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America today.

With new federal laws in place regarding business owners’ responsibilities in the event of a security breach, this target market needs help preparing for and preventing such a crisis.

My firm, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. partnered with the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and Identity Theft Shield to introduce a program called the Affirmative Defense Response System.

The system helps business owners identify the potential risk within their businesses, realize the need for preparatory action, understand the liabilities they face, and understand the solution that is offered to them through Pre-Paid Legal Services and the chamber.

Through this program chamber businesses can learn about their risks for non-compliance with federal legislation regarding identity theft. Statistics show that nearly 87 percent of business owners aren’t aware that these laws affect them, so the need for this program is immediate.

Your personnel hold the security and privacy of your company information in their hands – figuratively and literally. Businesses depend upon their personnel to handle their valuable data responsibly and securely.

Without effective employee education, businesses face significant negative business impacts and even possible business failure from the consequences.

Most people are unaware of how vulnerable we are to identity theft and that it is not just an issue of credit – it can include Social Security numbers, driver’s license information and criminal, medical or financial information. It is important for consumers, and the businesses who employ them and collect their information, to realize this is a devastating crime.

Business owners need only to look at what just occurred with the Chicago Public Schools when information on 1,700 former employees was compromised, putting them at risk for identity theft for years to come.

Now the school system is facing lawsuits, and looking at purchasing identity theft protection policies for the 1,700 potential victims.

Being proactive could have minimized their risk and damages, potentially saving them time, headaches and money. The best time to have identity theft protection is before an incident occurs.

To learn more about this program visit www.naperville.net.

Valerie Jones is an independent associate with Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.

paper shredding services