SMEs urged to guard against ID theft
By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa have been urged to put robust processes and systems in place amid rising incidences of identity (ID) theft and other forms of fraud.
Donovan Marais, Channel Manager of Sage Pay, the payment solutions company, who says SMEs are becoming a target for identity thieves.
“Large retailers, telecom operators and banks have put in place tougher measures to safeguard themselves, so must SME’s. They are at growing risk because fraudsters see them as soft targets,” he adds.
Research organisation, Cleardata found in a recent study that ID theft cost local companies some R1 billion during 2014 while there were 3 600 reported cases during the year.
It projected that the number of cases would spike to 4 000 this year. Marais says that identity thieves use a wide range of techniques to collect personal information and documents that they can use to assume another person’s identity. In some cases, they steal ID documents so that they can ‘doctor’ paperwork and pass themselves off as another person.
This means that SMEs need to be alert when they’re hiring employees or allowing people to buy goods on credit. They should take all reasonable steps to verify the person’s identity as well as personal details such as their address and credit record,” says Marais.
He says SMEs must put robust antivirus, malware protection software and other security measures in place to protect themselves and their data from identity thieves.
“It’s also a good practice to shred credit card statements, bank deposit slips and other such information when it’s no longer required rather than simply throwing it in the bin.”
– CAJ News
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