Since identity theft has become more and more common, employees are now becoming increasingly aware of the precautions they should take to prevent this serious, prevalent crime. Thousands of Canadians are victims of identity theft each year. How do you protect your employees against it? I’ll tell you how.

Do you have a Human Resources (HR) department within your business? If so, there are probably operating procedures set in place that detail how employee information should be handled. Ensure that all employee files, both active and terminated, are kept safe under lock and key. Also, make sure that only HR has access to the key and employee files as they should be the only ones that need these files.

You should avoid releasing any confidential employee information to anyone except if it’s an employee who requires this information or if an officer of the court issues your business a subpoena. Always ask questions if an employee file is requested to be seen, taken, or copied for any reason.

Does your company have a clean desk rule? If not, ensure that this rule is implemented as soon as possible. Why? It ensures that any employee who works with sensitive information clears their desk of these files and places them under lock and key before they leave the office for the day. Most financial and housing institutions follow this rule.

Social Security or Social Insurance Numbers are mostly used to identify an employee. Since identity theft is on the rise and accessing SIN’s are used to steal identities, employers use number masks. This means that instead of using the actual SIN as in 145-654-002, the numbers XXX-XXX-002 are used to identify the employee. The masking works well when you send information via mail or email.

Ensure that your office has a reliable paper shredder. Once sensitive information is used for work purposes, it should be destroyed using a paper shredder. It will go a long way to protect your employees from potential identity theft. These documents should be shredded every day after use as this prevents information from being stolen.

With these simple steps, you can help protect your employees from identity theft. Make sure your employees know about the dangers of identity theft and what they can do to protect themselves at the workplace and at home.

4 Comments
  1. Great tips, on how to protect employees from identity theft. I agree easy methods to do, is have a clean environment, to keep papers seen from other people. While the second, is adding a paper shredder. People do not think, but it is easy to go outside and look through trash to get numbers that could cause your employees trouble.

  2. This is a great post and an accurate reminder about how careful we need to be in our everyday, working lives. Employers are somewhat responsible for the actions of their employees and need to take action for protecting everyone’s personal information. Thieves are everywhere these days and we need to stay alert! They will target anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race: there’s something from everyone that thieves could want. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Having employers realize how accountable they are for the information they take in would add much to the security of the country. All too often the weak points of the identity industry are the computer systems that get hacked due to poor security. Why would not protect the identities that flow in from all these applications? Mostly because they are too cheap the same reason they don’t pay living wages. That also means tightening down on employees and making them realize what is at stake.

  4. There are personal blind spots at our offices that are particularly vulnerable, I suppose. The term “identity theft” has been an issue since the 60s. Good thing more and more mature and responsible companies are not only supporting telecommuting and working from home for the benefit of the companies, but they are making it mandatory for their workers to stay healthy and balanced, both of which identity theft is not. My own experience in learning about how people are dealing with identity theft is that it is either all beginnings or pure endings.

Leave a Reply