What is Corporate Identity Theft?

Wouldn't it be nice if corporate identity thieves left a ransom note or some type of trail?  Unfortunately, these malicious hijackers move in extreme stealth mode, allowing them to hack into a number of systems without a user becoming aware until it is much too late.  

If you happen to be one of the naive who believes this could never happen to you, we strongly suggest that you rethink the situation.  Thanks to the amazing technology that introduced us to the World Wide Web and Wi-Fi connections, corporate identity theft is on the rise, literally costing many companies a fortune.

Understanding corporate identity theft

Corporate identity theft is composed of a deadly combination: a world that has gone mad for wireless activity and the very computer that makes way for a connection into virtual reality. The two allow information to be shared all across the world.  This combination can be viewed as the essential element for success and the precursor for disaster all at the same time.  In the end, many hackers have proved that it doesn't take a rocket scientist nor a criminal mastermind to spot and take advantage of the many opportunities at corporate identity theft and fraud. 

Corporate identity theft has the impact to leave a once prominent business crippled with negative consequences.  One reason this type of identity theft is so damaging is because the crime is fairly easy to commit.  By submitting documents to a corporate registration service, such as the U.K.'s Companies House, thieves can get away with the following:

           changing the registered address of a business (form 287)

           changing the director or secretary of a company (form 288c) 

           appointing new directors of their choosing (form 288c)

After the forms have been submitted, corporate identity theft becomes very difficult to rectify as the Companies House will fail to notify the original directors or secretaries that new forms have been submitted.  They also will not check the forms over for signs of validity.  Once the forms have been filed, the new directors and secretaries can easily open new bank accounts, order products to be shipped to a new address, and completely ruin a corporation's credit ratings, while leaving behind major fees that must be paid.  The fact that hackers can easily access these tools for dirt cheap makes for a nightmarish scenario.    

Defending Your Corporation

Carefully manage your data - With the vast amount of information available on the internet these days, it doesn't take a hacker much at all to commit serious crimes such as corporate identity theft.  It is a must that you find out exactly what information regarding your business is online and where it can be located.  

Risk management - It is very important to implement a system designed to prevent and manage such a security breach.  Make sure your staff and other members of the company are well aware of all risks that exist.

Do not panic - One of the worst things you can do in a case of corporate identity theft is panic and make a series of moves on fear and impulse.  In a worse case scenario, you should immediately contact your lawyer and the local authorities.  This will ensure you that insurance claims and potential investigations are not compromised. 

Preparation - Last but not least, you should be prepared to fight for your corporation.  Keep your documents organized as lack of ownership and physical evidence can make your case difficult to prove. 

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser