In June of 2023, the FTC Safeguard Rules go into affecting millions of businesses across the US. These businesses must implement cybersecurity or face fines or criminal prosecution. So let's talk about whether your business is affected by this. Who's affected? What does this mean? Let's get into it now.
So the Federal Trade Commission has been coming up with these Safeguard Rules that apply to businesses, specifically non-banking financial institutions. And many companies may or may need to realize that they are non-banking financial institutions. So we'll get into those types of companies here in a few minutes.
But the vital thing to know is that this rule was supposed to go into effect on December 9th of, 2022, and the FTC decided to extend it. And what the FTC has done is approved this rule in October 2021. And Safeguard Rules require non-banking financial institutions such as mortgage brokers, motor vehicle deal orders, and payday lenders to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive security program to keep their customers' information safe.
This does not apply to you if you are a financial institution reporting to the SEC or have a higher regulation or authority. But it applies to many businesses that don't realize that they may be under this rule now. You have to read the specifics, but a financial institution doesn't mean that you have a business with a banking institution like tellers and deposit slips and things like that. It covers companies that deal with any credit. Suppose you're a contractor who remodels homes, and you offer credit, or you offer a way for your customers to pay where you're having them fill out a credit application. You're taking that information in and storing it somewhere. Whether in a file cabinet or on a computer, you are responsible for safeguarding that.
It could be any business that collects individuals' private information in the United States. So if that's your business, you will have to follow these rules that the FTC is laying now. So what are those rules? Well, I've broken it down in a report you can download; there's a link in the description. You can download the nine things you need to do to ensure that your business follows the FTC Safeguard program. You download that report that will give you nine things you must do in your business and how you will get those things done. So it lays it all out for you, tells you exactly what you need to do and what rule applies. So what happens if you don't follow this rule come June? It's June 9th, 2023, if I remember correctly. Yeah, June 9th, 2023. So what happens?
So the FTC has the authority to investigate any business for consumer-type fraud. If you don't protect data and data is breached in some way because of your business, the FTC could investigate you, opening up a whole ugly can of worms for you. Now, more than likely, it will take much work by the FTC to go into businesses and assess whether they're doing these things. They're just going to come in after the fact. So when your company gets breached, if they come in after the fact and determine that you were not doing these things, they can refer you to criminal prosecution by US attorneys. So you will be looking at federal charges if you don't follow these rules, which is a big deal for this. You've never had to deal with this before.
So again, as I said, there are nine things that you have to do to comply with these laws. Furthermore, if you're involved in mortgages, if you're leasing or selling cars that you're offering financing, new car dealers, used car dealers, home builders, home re-modelers, anybody that's offering any credit to get your services or new business with your end clients where you're taking that information in on their behalf and then giving it to a bank to process or whatever. If you're taking this information in, you must follow these rules. Accountants who are filing tax returns or who do payroll. Or tax preparers, bookkeepers handling social security numbers, and any business dealing with social security numbers. If you have employees, you likely have social security numbers. This falls under that, believe it or not. You have to protect their information as well.
It's anybody who's collecting this information. So I have a report that you can download. There's a link in the description. You can get that report, and download it. You can find out what you need to do to comply with the FTC Safeguard Rules that are going into effect June 9th of 2023 and prevent yourself from having a cyberattack. But if you do, prevent yourself from getting criminally charged or potentially fined and making things worse from a terrible situation. So remember, you can download the report, get it, the nine elements of the FTC Safeguard Program, and learn what you need to do from that report.