Don’t Let Employee Identity Theft Become a Business Problem

You don’t need to be the direct victim of an identity theft or fraud to become collateral damage. One in 12 Americans are affected by identity crimes each year. Your employees could be some of the millions that are affected by these crimes. As a result, your business could suffer as well. 

 What is a business owner to do? 

Your employees’ lives outside of the workplace can’t affect your business, can they? You could continue to throw caution to the wind and ignore the odds. Really, how bad could the outcome be? Or you could face the identity crime statistics and take steps to lessen the damage for your employees and your business.

How does your business suffer as a result of employee identity theft? Let’s take a look.

Loss of time
Overall, identity theft takes an average of 26 hours to resolve, according to the 2014 Javelin Identity Fraud Report. Medical identity theft represents over 40 percent of all data breaches, according to Identity Theft Resource Group, leading victims to spend an average of 200 hours and $13,500 in out-of-pocket expenses on resolution.

The time spent by impacted employees to resolve an identity theft issue will no doubt interfere with their work days and your business operations. It’s likely employees will take time to resolve the issue during the work day since most services are only available during typical daytime hours.

Reduction in productivity
The effects of identity crimes can also diminish productivity in the workplace. The process of restoring one’s identity can disrupt work flow and derail the focus on job duties. As a result, employees may miss deadlines or leave tasks incomplete.

Negatively impacts attitude
Identity crimes hit hard in many ways. Employees affected by identity crimes may feel depressed, or even foolish and personally responsible for the compromise of their identity. This may adversely affect their interactions with coworkers and customers, and a loss in confidence in their work ethic.

Quality may decline
The stress of working through an identity crime can also affect the number of mistakes made during the course of an employee’s work day. This could ultimately create dangerous work environments in jobs that involve safe handling of materials, machinery and the caretaking of others.

Given the potential damage that could befall your business, what strategies can you take to help turn the situation around? 

Train and educate
Training focused on the business’ information security is imperative. It highlights the critical nature of identity theft and fraud, while also educating employees about their role in protecting both themselves and your business from such threats.

Let them know you care
Empower your employees to be proactive about protecting their personal information and the personal information of your business.  Include tips on how employees can protect themselves against identity crimes. This will help employees take charge of their information, while also reducing their risks and yours.

Provide valuable resources
Direct your employees to reputable sources of information regarding fraud and identity theft such as this blog Fighting Identity Crimes, the Federal Trade Commission and the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Leverage identity protection
There is no substitute for being vigilant with your sensitive personal and business information. Better yet, be sure to take advantage of business identity protection and all of its features for safeguarding your identity. When choosing an identity protection provider, start with a trusted source — someone who already has a vested interest in your financial security, such as your financial institution or insurance provider.

Your daily business responsibilities keep you busy enough. Do what you can to avert the added burden brought on by fraud or identity theft — whether you’re preventing direct impact to your personal or business information or indirect assault via impacted employees.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

Laura, former VP of Marketing at EZShield, now a Sontiq brand, is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience leading marketing and...
Read more about Laura Bruck.

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