This number represents the average number of identity thefts reported in the U.S.A. each year.  The problem is that this number is increasing significantly each year with the average loss per stolen identity is $4,930.  Often times the criminals are overseas making the prosecution and obtaining restitution nearly impossible.  So what can you do as a business owner and what can you do as an individual?

Business Owners

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to protect your customers information.  This includes things like credit card information and bank account information but it also goes further.  Information is considered “private” when it includes a name with any of the following: social security number, date of birth, drivers license number or any other information that is not otherwise public.  Of course if your business maintains health information on individuals, this expectation has been in place for some time.

A few basic steps can go a long way.

  • Shred all documents when no longer needed
  • Encrypt emails (generally requires a third party vendor to your email)
  • Lock files
  • Only allow access to private information to those who need it within the organization
  • Maintain virus  protection on computers and servers
  • Enforce a strict policy with employees

Since the business management can never know when or where a breach may occur, we recommend maintaining insurance coverage to help cover the immense costs associated with complying with the requirements of the law.  This includes notification, providing credit monitoring for customers in addition to rebuilding trust in your organization.


There are proactive and reactive methods of dealing with your identity.  The single most important proactive step a person can make is to freeze your credit with the three major credit bureaus.  This makes it impossible for a thief to take your information and set up credit accounts.  One of the best places we have found to guide you through the process is here.  Once your credit is frozen, the only way to establish a new credit account is to use the PIN provided to you to set up a temporary thaw.

If you are a victim, you must complete a police report to allow you to begin to recover your loss.  Most insurance companies have an optional coverage for ID theft protection, at a minimal cost, which will help you through the rebuilding process along with the expenses.  One important note is that the insurance is not designed to replace the the stolen money, that is usually accomplished by proving your loss to the creditors who are to responsible.

Credit Freeze Letters

Our agency is well versed on coverage options for both businesses and individuals, call us today at 309-833-1755 to learn more.


source for statistics is: http://www.statisticbrain.com/identity-theft-fraud-statistics/