November 30, 2020
Protecting Sensitive Data
Protect Sensitive Data During the 2020 Holiday Shopping Season and as Tax Season Approaches.
Your sensitive data is more vulnerable than you might think. Remote learning. Telecommuting. Online shopping. Gaming. Teleconferences. Socializing. Doctor visits. Many face-to-face meetings we had in Q1 of 2020 have gone digital. This has vastly increased opportunities for cybercriminals to hack company servers and personal computers. Incorporating habits to strengthen digital personal security will decrease the chances of your information becoming available on the dark web or your desktop held for ransom.
Many popular scams of 2020 to threaten sensitive data include phishing scams, fake antivirus software offers, easy money scams, fake shopping websites, form jacking, and tech support. Avoid clicking on any link – whether it is a pop up while you are web surfing or an email from a popular company. Going straight to a trusted and secured website is the best practice for enhanced cybersecurity.
The IRS is promoting the 5th Annual National Tax Security Awareness Week.
The IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig has stated, “With more taxpayers and tax preparers working remotely, identity thieves are trying to use COVID-19 to scare and scam people out of their identities or money. All of us must be on guard and use the strongest security measures we can. The goal of National Tax Security Awareness Week is to remind people about important steps they can take to protect themselves and their tax information.”
The IRS would like to remind people to take these basic steps:
- Use security software for computers and mobile phones – and keep it updated.
- Avoid phishing scams, especially related to COVID-19 or Economic Impact Payments.
- Use strong and unique passwords for all accounts.
- Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Shop only secure websites; Look for the “HTTPS” in web addresses and the padlock icon; avoid shopping on unsecured and public Wi-Fi in places like shopping malls.
We want to add to this list. Wilke & Associates, CPAs discourage sending personal information via email even it is password protected or encrypted. Email is the leading strategy to launch a phishing or spear attack. Establishing this cyber habit will reduce the chances of your information falling into the hands of a cybercriminal.
We advocate that our clients upload and download any sensitive information through their personal Data Room (aka portal) to protect your information. Our secure Data Room uses biometric multi-factor authentication—one of the most secure ways to transmit documents.
Stefanie is our Marketing Director; she has been a member of our team for 15 years in administration, client relationship management, and marketing. Her progressive professional experience includes B2B sales for media and recruiting.
Please contact Jason Humienny, who is a General Ledger Manager with us. He was previously an assistant controller and has a strong background in property accounting and leading software implementation.