Any type of business of any size, regardless of its legal structure, needs to be on guard for the new rash of online identity theft.
Although consumer identity theft has been around for several years, corporate identity theft now seems to be the target of choice for cyber thieves.
What Are Corporate Identity Theft and Cybersecurity?
Corporate identity theft is when a person or company acts as though they are the business. They use the business credentials and records, whether by manipulating them or falsifying them. They impersonate the business to banks, creditors, suppliers and any other entity the business has dealings with.
They may even change the names of corporate officers in state documents.
Cybersecurity is a company’s efforts to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. These types of cyber attacks can include theft of a company’s bank account numbers, passwords, and routing numbers.
Some of the reasons thieves are choosing corporate identity theft over consumer identity theft are:
- Businesses have larger bank account balances than ordinary consumers.
- The credit and charge accounts in the name of the business generally have higher credit limits than ones for individuals.
- Large purchases by businesses are not scrutinized as carefully as similar purchases by individuals.
- Identity information from a business is easier to obtain. Identifiers are posted online, such as a sales tax number as well as the business license number. Business credit reports are easily attainable and contain a wealth of information for would-be thieves to use to their advantage.
- It is easier to get away with it. Corporate identity thieves are better able to disguise their own identity and existence by hiding behind technology.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Corporate Identity Theft
- Pay close attention to all emails from the office of the Secretary of State who sends emails to all who are associated with a business entity whenever a change is made to corporate records.
- Monitor your business credit reports for any unauthorized activity.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection does not investigate these crimes, but fully cooperates with investigations conducted by law enforcement. Contact this office if you believe you have been the victim of corporate identity theft.
Co-parenting is rarely easy. It becomes even more difficult when school and extracurricular activities are on the agenda and may conflict with visitation or time the children spend with each parent. The first thing you need to do is check your parenting plan and settlement agreement to see how school time is to be divided between the two of you and how you agreed to deal with extracurricular activities. If you note problems that were not considered at the time the plan was put in place, check with your attorney to see if you have grounds for asking the court for a modification of the Order.
Ellen Kellner, who is herself divorced, has written a book, “The Pro-Child Way: Parenting with an Ex” to help parents who are co-parenting to cope with all the schedule changes that come with school and after school activities. Some of her suggestions include:
- Plan for each day and be sure your children know exactly what they are to do and where they are go at the end of the school day. Leave a note in their back packs for them to consult if the daily schedule changes often.
- Both parents need a copy of the school calendar. Hopefully, both parents can peacefully co-exist and attend school functions together, like Back-to-School night, school plays, sports games and parent conferences.
- Make the children’s needs a priority. Instead of arguing about who has custody on what day or weekend, be flexible and work around the children’s schedules. If a child wants to stay at one parent’s house in order to get help for a school project that is due, work together to make that happen.
- Keep communication flowing freely between you and your ex.
- Make your children feel comfortable enough to express their wishes to both parents.
Other suggestions include:
- Be sure the school knows which parent to call first in an emergency situation.
- Take advantage of the school website and make certain that you both have access to it so you know about homework assignments, grade reports and attendance issues.
- Access to the website will allow you both to communicate with the teacher. Just keep in mind, these are not privileged communications, so be careful what you say.