Protecting Your Patrons’ Identity
The holidays are just about upon us which means more people will be opting to eat out over a home cooked meal. The hustle and bustle of the season and increased consumer spending creates a perfect storm for identity thieves.
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America today, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and thieves are finding more ways than ever to obtain personal information. Any time a patron makes a purchase, they are trusting you with sensitive information, and it is your responsibility to protect that information.
It is important that you do your part when handling sensitive client information, such as credit card receipt information. This includes taking internal security measures to ensure customer information is shared only with necessary parties.
If you work at a register, it is important to follow these guidelines so that sensitive information is kept secure:
- Never leave receipts where anyone can find them.
- When you step away from your register, always “lock” the screen.
When accepting credit or debit cards as a form of payment, be sure to verify the identity of the customer, either through their signature or asking for further identification.
Only gather personal customer information through company-approved channels. Follow company policies to verify the identity of the customer when giving out or changing any personal information. Use discretion when offering or receiving personal information over the phone – this is a common way for thieves to commit identity fraud.
When processing a customer transaction in front of other clients, make sure that you are protecting the customer’s information. Do not read off any personal data and keep your screen turned so that no one else can view it.
Be sure to keep all receipts, invoices and other records secure – do not leave such paperwork lying around. When disposing of materials containing personal information, use the paper shredder or secure recycling container.
Above all, be aware of the potential for identity theft when handling personal data. If you are suspicious of a transaction or conversation you are having with a patron, follow your instinct and pursue further verification before proceeding.
Contact Borden Perlman today for more information on safety initiatives that can not only reduce your company’s overall liability but also save you premium dollars in the process.