One of the major business risks is a bad business reputation which can have devastating consequences on the business profits or even the viability of the business as consumers might not want to do business with a company with a bad image due to integrity issues and other reasons. Customer loyalty takes time to build and all it takes for it to disappear is bad word of mouth and negative business publicity. As mentioned, bad business publicity might be due to lack of business integrity or other factors such as mass unorganized and unmanaged layoff, employee mistreatment, lack of investment in communities where the company does business, lawsuits, hiring employees with criminal background, etc. However, one of the major contributors to the negative business image is the publicized theft of customer private information for curiosity or fraud purposes.

Often when businesses lose their customer information or detect fraud, they offer identity monitoring services to their customers which is cost free to customers but not headache free. Even when consumers have identity monitoring services, they still have to follow up with suspicious activities to make sure they are authorized or fraud cases to clean up the mess. Therefore, the loss of customer information by businesses and more importantly the occurrence of identity theft fraud can be devastating to business reputation especially if they are highly publicized.

In conclusion, it is very important for businesses to implement an effective identity theft and fraud prevention program to help reduce their risk of bad business reputation. If businesses successfully implement practices which prevent identity theft and stop fraud before they occur, they can save their business reputation and money spent for fraud write-off, recovery and identity monitoring. And more importantly they can keep their customers and maintain competitive advantage within their respective industries.

Until next time, be identity safe,
Henry Bagdasarian
Identity Management Institute


The grandfathering petition deadline for becoming a Certified Red Flag Specialist (CRFS) ends on 3/31/2012 after which point candidates must take the test. Also, Identity Management Institute will soon announce the launch of a new program for identity theft investigators. Check the IMI website for updates.

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