As tax time approaches, people are keen to fill out forms with all of their most personal information such as their relationships, the social security numbers, income, home address, job information, payment information, bank account numbers, phone numbers and email. There is rarely a time of the year more vulnerable for consumers and tax professionals alike.
As a consumer, it can be difficult to ensure that your data is safe and secure. If you are filing taxes on your own, you have to trust that your mail won’t be intercepted, or if you are filing online through a tax agency or even an online tax preparer, how can you trust that those companies will secure your data adequately? With the number of large company breaches in the recent past including Target, Home Depot, and Equifax to name a few, a consumer’s information being held by a tax preparer could be at risk if that company doesn’t secure their own network.
On the consumer side, there is an increase in the number of “fake” or scamming applications and website that are “free” ways for someone to file their own taxes. These sites and applications will not in fact file your taxes, but collect and sell your personal information to the highest bidder. As a safe guard measure for all consumers; use a professional tax service, or be hyper vigilant that you are in fact connected to a reputable site such as H&R Block, or TurboTax to name a few. You can also file directly from the federal and most state government sites online.
If you are a tax preparer, and you are in charge of the personal information of your clients, what are you doing to ensure that data is safe and secure? Is your data subject to HIPAA law? Are you securing your data and processes to ensure that not only are you not breached, but if you were, you can prove you were practicing due diligence and due care? Keeping the data safe from your clients is a critical function, and one that is essential to not only your bottom line, but also to the reputation of your firm.
Contact KidderSec Technologies today to see where you stand in the fight to keep the data of your company and clients safe.