Identity theft: Are you really protecting your clients? - DVM
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Identity theft: Are you really protecting your clients?

DVM360 MAGAZINE


Your clinic also collects and stores private information about your staff. What would be the impact to your employees and business if their confidential information were stolen from the workplace?

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, victims of identity theft spend an average of 300 hours recovering from the crime. Some victims deal with the issue for years after it's discovered.

Why does recovery take so long?

Here is a partial list of the agencies and institutions a victim might have to contact to resolve identity-theft issues: credit-card companies, all three credit-reporting agencies, financial institutions, the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the U.S. Postal Service and law-enforcement departments.

Not all of these agencies can be contacted at night or during lunch hours and breaks. Your business pays the cost in lost productivity, no matter how much your dedicated staff tries to limit their efforts to their own time.

In addition to lost staff productivity, your practice may face federal fines of up to $2,500 per occurrence, civil and class-action lawsuits if your practice is responsible for the loss of employee or customer private information.

Your clients, your employees and the FTC expect you to protect the private information with which you've been entrusted.

As a business owner or executive, it's critical for you to understand how privacy laws pertain to your business, and to comply with them.

By having policies and procedures in place for securing private information, your staff would have known how to protect Mr. Gold's information and prevented his nightmare.

How are you protecting your clients' and employees' information? The final article in this series will identify steps you can take to comply with the laws.

James Iafe, VMD, is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS). He practices at North Boros Veterinary Hospital in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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