Dental Practice Consulting: Protecting Your Identity

Sat, Oct 10, 2015 at 5:45PM

You’ve probably thought about identity theft at some point or another—after all, it’s a big problem! In 2012 alone, about seven percent of people aged 16 or over were the victims of identity theft. As a dentist, taking measures against this form of fraud isn’t just about protecting yourself… it’s about keeping up your practice as well. 

If you haven’t already developed security measures protecting against identity theft, the idea of doing so may seem daunting. But don’t worry—in today’s blog, we’re looking at simple things you can do to shield you and your business.

Be alert.

Before you even think about signing up for an identity protection service, be sure that you’re doing all you can first. A huge part of protecting yourself against identity theft is simply staying alert and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity—purchases you don’t remember, fishy emails, and other red flags. 

Remember that even if your identity is stolen, you can help remedy the problem faster by staying on top of your accounts and online activity. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Practice (and instruct your employees to practice) safe behaviors.

You may already know how to stay safe and secure online—don’t press on risky links, never give out personal information, etc. And if you are a security-savvy dentist, you know to follow these precautions both at home and in the office. But do your employees? Take some time to properly train your employees on how to best protect themselves and the practice while they conduct business in the office. Basic security steps (such as “logging out” of public computers, creating complex passwords, and shredding sensitive documents) can potentially save you and your business a lot of money down the line.

Monitor your information regularly.

If you don’t check your bank accounts or credit reports regularly, how will you know if there’s been fraudulent activity going on? Be sure to check your bank account regularly for unfamiliar purchases, and take advantage of the free credit reports available from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These tools are easily accessible and can help you avoid nasty surprises later on.

File an Identity Theft Report.

If you are the victim of identity theft, don’t wait or delay in reporting it. File an Identity Theft Report with Federal Trade Commission to let creditors know your identity has been stolen or affected. 

Check back.

Whether you’ve enlisted the help of an identity protection service or just want to know if your identity problem is really settled, be sure to follow up! Don’t always assume that your problem was taken care of right away—it often takes lots of back and forth with creditors, your bank, and other agencies to quash the problem altogether. Just stay on top of your situation so you can be your own best advocate—after all, you’re not only looking out for yourself but for an entire practice! It will take some time and attention to keep you up and running, but when it comes to avoiding (or remedying) identity theft, it’s worth it!

 

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