Unfortunately, many home based signing companies operate in this manner. They keep your notary information in an unsecured fashion (either on flash drives, laptops/desktops, or unlocked filing cabinets). This seriously exposes the professional notary with the risk of being victimized from what is known as "crimes of opportunity".
Our company, along with others in this area, have decided to raise the standards for our businesses. We are committed to providing the highest quality of service to the notaries in our network.
Our organization highly encourages you and your notaries to protect yourselves and businesses by:
1. Being selective about who you do business with. Check blogs, other notaries in the area, and attend after hours networking events for professional notaries. If you don't have these types of events in your area, sponsor one yourself. Remember, protecting your business starts with you and not the company seeking your services.
2. Keeping yourself up-to-date on how to protect yourself and your business from becoming victims of identity theft. There are several companies offering various protection plans that would protect you and your company from identity theft. We recommend to all the notaries in our network, IDShield. It is less than $10 per month and gives one of the most comprehensive protection plans out there.
Professional notaries are small business owners. According to the 2011 Small Business Owners Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, small business owners are victims of fraud at a rate of 15% more often than the general population. Most, if not all professional notaries, operate their businesses on very thin margins, and would more than likely not be able to survive as a victim of identity theft. Protecting yourself and your business makes good common sense.
Daniel C. Lewis is known across the country as an Identity Theft expert. He was named by the National Notary Association as the 2010 National Notary of the Year. He was also named that same year by the Indiana Secretary of State as an Honorary Secretary of State. Daniel is currently serving as the of the Indiana Notary Association. Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor, and was the Executive Director of the radio show "We Are Too Smart To Live Like This."