stay safe online during tax time: Working with Tax Preparers

#Cybersecurity #QuickTips #StaySafeOnline

Tips to keep you, your company, and your employees safe online this tax season.


Vet your tax preparer before handing over sensitive information and ask what steps they take to protect your information. Businesses of all sizes are susceptible to cyberthieves, so it is critical to choose a preparer who takes security seriously.


Be selective about who you choose to file your taxes. Consider asking them the following questions:

> How will we exchange files and sensitive information?

> Who at your firm has access to my data?

> Are our communications end-to-end encrypted?

> What types of network security have you implemented?

> How do you back up client data?


The most secure way of transferring documents is physically, either handing them to your tax preparer in person or sending them through the mail. However, if you must transfer them electronically, be sure to do it as securely as possible:

> Encrypt your files before sending them via email. Encryption protect the content from being read by entities other than the intended recipients. Encryption features are available on most major email platforms.

> Use a secure portal to upload documents. Portals encrypt documents during transfer and storage and limit access to only approved individuals.


Protect your valuable documents by making an electronic copy and storing it safely. If you have a copy of your data and your device falls victim to ransomware, you will be able to restore the data from a backup. Use the 3-2-1 rule as a guide to backing up your data:

Keep at least three (3) copies of your data: Store two (2) backup copies on different storage media, With one (1) of them located offsite.

Courtesy of our parters at StaySafeOnline.Org, The National Cybersecurity Alliance and The Internal Revenue Service.

About the The National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

About The Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service, also known as the IRS, is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The government agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code, the main body of federal statutory tax law of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers and pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings.

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