For many of us, work is our second home. Even if our job requires us to be on our game all the time – and whose doesn’t, these days – we can get lulled into a false sense of security about identity protection and overlook the importance of workplace safety. Security faux pas that we would never commit in our private lives – such as leaving sensitive documents lying around or failing to password protect our PC – can be all too common in the workplace.
Increasingly, identity theft is being committed by people who know the victims. The workplace, where you share personal information and may be lax about your belongings, facilitates this crime. You can help protect your identity while at work many ways, including:
- Password protect your PC and smartphone, and change those passwords every few months, especially if you use either device to access public networks as well as business ones. Shut down your PC when you leave the office for the day. Or, if you have to leave it running, lock it by logging off to the password prompt screen.
- Don’t unnecessarily bring items that put your identity at risk to work. Store personal items like your purse, wallet, car keys and smartphone in a locked file cabinet or other secure location. If your office door has a lock, use it when you’re out of the office.
- Avoid making photocopies of personal documents at work. Most of us have printers at home that will do the same job, and accidentally leaving a document in a work copier could expose your personal information to others. Some copiers even have memory functions that could allow an enterprising identity thief to retrieve a digital copy of your personal document.
- If your employer uses Social Security numbers in lieu of employee ID numbers, or places it on an ID badge or timecard, ask the company to change the policy immediately.
- Ask your human resources department for a copy of the company’s identity protection policy. If they don’t have one, suggest the company establish one to help foster identity protection and cyber safety in the workplace.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.