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Tax Season – Does Your Tax Preparer Protect Your Information?

Hire Professionals to Destroy Old Hard Drives and Shred Documents

Once the effects of the New Year’s celebrations wear off, it’s time for a new season—tax season. We welcome spring and dread April 15th at the same time. It’s the time of year when receipts and reports get pulled out, and the fretting over the tax bill begins. For tax professionals, they are at their busiest, running numbers, requesting additional information, and filing tax returns. Tax season is a favorite for cybercriminals. They love the opportunity to steal personal identification and falsify tax returns, and there is plenty of fodder to fill their needs. Do you know if your tax preparer is protecting your information?

All businesses need to be on top of their game against those willing to steal identities. This includes the tax filing services industry. Utilizing a document storage and shredding company to help keep tabs on the mountains of records they must keep is an excellent choice.

Steps Tax Preparers Should Take to Protect Client Information

With cybercriminals ramping up their attacks, tax professionals must keep on top of their game to protect their clients and their reputations. Here are some steps your tax preparer should be taking:

  1. Install strong antivirus and firewall software. A firewall will help prevent unauthorized users from forcing their way into a system, and a strong antivirus system will reduce the chances of malware being installed on computers that hold vital information.
  2. Back up data regularly. Conducting consistent back-ups helps tax professionals recover data that may be stolen or compromised. Back-ups also make accessing important data easier. Ideally, the backup should not be on the network used to produce tax returns. It should be an external source.
  3. Implement data encryption. This is crucial to keeping things safer. Encrypted data makes it harder for hackers to use any information they steal because they need the correct security key. Data can be encrypted both when it is stored in the computer and when it is transmitted.
  4. Understand social engineering. Social engineering is a theft technique in which a criminal convinces unsuspecting staff to share passwords and login details. The stolen information is then used to gain access to computer systems. Everyone on your tax preparer’s team should understand how to identify social engineering scams, phishing emails, and other attempts to steal.
  5. Utilize multi-factor authentication. Single-factor authentication uses a login ID and a password. It is relatively easy to manipulate and steal through social engineering. Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is the action recommended to keep records secure.
  6. Update software and applications regularly. Computer software has vulnerabilities that hackers use to gain access to systems. It is the nature of the software development beast. Developers continually identify vulnerabilities and make updates to close the gaps. By regularly updating software, you are thwarting criminal attempts.

Stop Cybercriminals in Their Tracks with Help from Information Management Pros

Please talk with your tax preparers to see how they protect your information. You can also suggest they hire the pros at Crown Information Management to help them manage their document storage and shredding needs. Our team understands the importance of compliance for professionals. We can help establish a system for document destruction and keep safe the records that require storage. We help a variety of industries with their information management needs. Give us a call today!

For expert assistance with media destruction, records management, and document storage, look no further than Crown Information Management. Contact us online or call 800-979-9545 to learn more about our services. Let our team work for you. We are a SOC1 Level 2 Report, NAID AAA, and PCI Certified company, ensuring the highest standards of data protection.