When businesses or individuals are moving, there are a lot of things on their mind. Logistics, figuring out how many moving trucks it takes to move all of the equipment and furniture, and issues with getting set back up are at the forefront of their mind. However, one major issue that many people and companies do not consider is the threat of identity theft. A move is prime time for identity theft, as records are disorganized and spread throughout various boxes, sensitive equipment is being put in the hands of a third party, and non-business personnel have access to sensitive areas of the building.
Understanding what an identity thief uses is key to understanding how to protect employee, personal and customer files from a data breach.
Identity thieves may seek to get names, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, usernames, and passwords. This information is used for a variety of purposes, such as adding them to spam lists, attempting to get access to bank accounts, and other malicious purposes.
The first order of business is figuring out exactly what kind of data security regulations govern the industry the business is conducted in, if any. For example, for health related businesses dealing with patient files, HIPPA comes into play. It’s a good idea to cut down on the amount of paperwork that has personal data on it, as long as that paperwork is no longer needed. This is also true in residential moves, with mail that can be shredded.
Another thing to keep in mind is switching over where the mail will be going ahead of time, instead of allowing it to go to a vacant property. Forwarding services should be set up well in advance of the move to avoid any potential for identity theft by thieves who physically take the mail from mailboxes, or start digging through garbage to get access to mail that gets left behind during the moving process.