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Auto Dealers – Don’t Let Your Customers be Taken for a Ride

Suggestions to Keep Sensitive Information Safe 

When you own or run an automotive dealership, you have access to sensitive customer information that is collected for the purpose of loans, vehicle registrations, and insurance. That makes your dealership a perfect hunting ground for scammers who are looking to make a quick buck through identity theft. A research report released in March 2018 by the Federal Trade Commission makes an alarming observation about frauds through auto dealerships. It claims that identity thefts through this source have seen a 43% year on year growth, based on the number of cases reported. 
If your customers’ information falls into the wrong hands, it is not just their loss; your business will also be compromised and your credibility takes a beating. Chances are that you may lose existing customers and discourage new ones from approaching you due to a lack of trust. However, there are some simple precautions that you can take to protect your customers’ data and your dealership’s reputation.  After all, you want to be in the news for records sales, and not for privacy breach issues!

Tips to Protect Your Customers’ Information and Your Dealership’s Reputation

  • Follow a Clean Desk Policy: Create adequate awareness and train your staff on clean desk policy measures. Ensure that they do not leave critical documents such as forms, copies of licenses, and address proofs unattended on their desks. It is not difficult for intruders and fraudsters to access your office premises under different pretexts and pick up important documents or capture photos when they are lying around, unguarded.
  • Restrict Access to your Premises: Create access policies that restrict movement of employees. Allow outsiders to only those areas where there is active business. For example: If you have a dedicated reception, do not let vendors or delivery personnel venture beyond that area. Let your staff meet them in the front-office  space or allow them to enter the rest of your premises only if they are personally escorted by an authorized staff member. 
  • Follow Information Security Best Practices for Digital Information: For any customer information that you store digitally, encrypt the documents and define restricted access to files and folders. If you upgrade your electronic equipment, or someone in your staff quits, or the timeline to save customer information has passed, destroy the irrelevant documents and data securely. This includes not just the hard drives or folders, but also information stored on SD cards, mobile phones, or thumb drives.
  • Document Management System: Ensure that you have an efficient label-or-destroy mechanism in place. Your document management system or policies should clearly define the timelines and parameters for filing, labelling, or shredding documents. If you are legally obligated to keep certain customer records for a fixed period of time, this system should ensure that the relevant files come up for destruction  when that timeline expires. 

For meticulous and secure disposal of documents, rely on a professional, NAID AAA Certified company such as TITAN Mobile Shredding. We offer services such as annual bulk purges, routine on-site shredding, and destruction of hard drives.
Call TITAN Mobile Shredding and speak to our data destruction professionals at (866) 848-2699 today or contact us online to request your free quote.

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