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Information Compromise and the Risk of Identity Theft: Guidance for Your Business

These days, it is almost impossible to be in business and not collect or hold personally identifying information — names and addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or other account numbers — about your customers, employees, business partners, students, or patients. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could put these individuals at risk for identity theft.

Still, not all personal information compromises result in identity theft, and the type of personal information compromised can significantly affect the degree of potential damage. What steps should you take and whom should you contact if personal information is compromised? Although the answers vary from case to case, the following guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, can help you make smart, sound decisions. Check federal and state laws or regulations for any specific requirements for your business.

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