How South Carolina employers can prevent and respond to identity theft

Employers should be aware of what to do to prevent employee identity theft as well as what to do if accused of identity theft.

It is not just consumers who have to worry about identity theft in the state of South Carolina, but employers as well. Companies should be sure they are well aware of steps they can and should take to protect their employees' identities as well as how they should respond should a data breach occur.

Educate employees

Companies should not assume their employees know a thing or two about identity theft. Instead, they should be sure to train employees on the risks of identity theft and what they should do if they think they are victims or know they are victims of identity theft. An occasional refresher course is always a good idea, as new information and protection methods can become available as time passes.

Secure your business

There is no greater weapon to protect your business and employees against identity theft and data breaches than being proactive. This means working with professionals familiar with identity theft and having them look over your current security and protective measures to ensure they are effective, up-to-date and legal. Having a contingency plan in place is also a good idea, as you and your employees will know exactly what to do if worse comes to worse, which is better than floundering about making all the wrong moves and potentially causing more damage.

Do not neglect physical security

While most identity thefts take place online, there are some that take place offline as well. Provide employees with a safe and secure place where they have the option of storing their purses, wallets and other belongings or items that have personal or sensitive information. Employees should be aware of how to physically protect information stored on computers, such as requiring a password and ensuring screens are locked after a period of inactivity.

Know who to notify

In the event of an identity theft or another data breach, both employers and employees should know whom to contact. For instance, credit reporting agencies, financial institutions and law enforcement should all be alerted. Depending on the breach, it might also be necessary to call in computer forensic experts to determine exactly what happened and what needs to happen next. The information such experts provide can be essential for knowing what to do next and preventing a future breach.

It is possible you might become an unwilling participant in an identity theft case in South Carolina, despite the above suggested measures. Should you ever be accused by an employee or even your customers or clients, be sure to reach out to an attorney to explore your legal options.