Cyber attacks are becoming more of a problem every day than the day before. The news that large corporations are being attacked or under attack won’t stop coming. In the world we are in right now, cyberattacks are already considered a certainty, and many organizations are preparing for when it will happen, not if it will happen.
There are times when entrepreneurs and companies do / don’t do things to leave themselves vulnerable to these attacks. While these companies knew what personal identity theft was, whether or not they are prepared for such an event is an entirely different issue. Small mistakes like failing to properly liquidate an extinct business or file an annual report.
How business owners become vulnerable to identity theft
Many US states require corporate companies to file their annual reports. These documents are very simple documents that inform the state and keep up to date with little information about your company.
If a company fails to file this report, it means the state may consider it administratively resolved. In other words, he is no longer considered registered in the state. This means that they will also lose some legal protections such as access to the state court. They can also be fined for continuing their business without proper registration.
In this case, the company will be added to the list of inactive companies. As a result, the company is in a very vulnerable state. Cyber criminals can use different email addresses to get business going again without the knowledge or consent of the business owner. They then get the reputation of the company they use to order resalable goods or get credits.
To make matters worse, if the company is already administratively dissolved, the owner no longer has the personal liability protection of the company form. Whatever the fault of the criminals, they will be slapped straight into their pockets.
It is risky for companies to just close the door on a state without actually closing or closing it. A company like this creates opportunities for cybercriminals to take advantage of them, steal their identities, keep them in debt, and wreak havoc on the company.
How to be invulnerable to identity theft
Archive the report early enough: this is the key to continued operations within a state. Submitting the annual report early is therefore the first step in avoiding theft of corporate identity. So there are loopholes for the scammers. When the business owners are very busy, it may be easy for them to forget about the annual report, especially since it must be filed at the time the business is incorporated, rather than at tax deadlines or fiscal years. There will be more logistics when the company has to file its annual reports in multiple states. In this case, a trusted agent or attorney can provide online assignment help and notify owners of the deadlines.
Legally dissolve an extinct business: If for any reason an entrepreneur or business owner decides that it is best to shut down the business venture or cease working in a particular state, he must do so formally and legally. Legal dissolution of a business involves filing a few documents with the state or the IRS if necessary. Other state dissolution requirements may vary from state to state, but legal dissolution is straightforward. And if they don’t close the deal legally, it’s still vulnerable.
Formally withdraw from states in which you no longer operate: Withdrawal from a state is different from its dissolution. Upon dissolution, the legal existence of this business across the country will be compromised. However, with the withdrawal, the company is still very operational in the country where it is only withdrawing its rights to operate in that particular state, but it can still do business elsewhere in the country. So, if you are no longer interested in doing business in a particular state, you should formally withdraw from that state. This way, you tie up loose ends that could have been potential targets for cyber criminals.
Perform regular business credit reviews: Very similar to when people check their personal credit. As you do this with your business, you are also making sure that you are still safe and that your thoughts remain calm. Make sure there is no debt incurred on your company’s behalf. Inquire at the credit bureaus.
Keep documents containing company information safe: There are definitely a number of such documents with the business identifiers or information. In addition to keeping these documents in a secure environment, you should also ensure that access is restricted to only authorized personnel. It’s not a lack of trust in your employees, it’s just the safety of your company. Sensitive information such as bank account numbers and other business identifiers in printed documents should be treated like treasure at all times. You don’t want to have these documents flying around in public access areas, employee work areas, filing cabinets, etc. You also need to watch out for and be sure of anyone who has access to or can see these documents, including your clients and clients. Contractors, visitors, etc. The more this information is available with random people, the greater the risk to your business.
Destroy old documents with company details: There is no doubt that your company has some old documents that are no longer required in any way but contain private information and identifiers for your company, such as: B. Company registration, company license numbers, EIN / TIN account numbers, etc. Of course, you can’t let them fly around, nor can you carelessly dispose of or destroy them. You can shred these documents with a diamond, confetti or cross cut with a paper shredder. Another option is to use the services of a security company that deals with the destruction of documents. If you keep these documents in one place before shredding, make sure they are in a locked or secured storage room that only authorized people can access.
Make sure that business computers are only used for business purposes: You can become very vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks by doing other activities, such as For example, surf the Internet, download programs, play online games, access social media, and share files with business computers. The computer is open to malware, spyware, viruses, and other security issues that can compromise your business and give hackers access to sensitive information about your company, employees, and customers.
Compliance with many of the regulations that are being worked with goes a long way in preventing cyber attacks and identity theft by cyber criminals. You don’t want to give the opportunistic criminals a chance to chase your business. The best way to stay vigilant and not be vulnerable is to be compliant. While complying with government regulations, you need to check internally in your company that you are not becoming negligent from within.