It’s that time of year again: tax season. It can be a very stressful time. It’s also one when many criminals prey on innocent victims. Cyber criminals are using very creative ways to get at your important financial information. Before you know it, they can withdraw money from your bank account or file falsified tax returns under your name and request a refund.
A Few Ways to Protect Yourself from Tax Scams
If you are an individual or a business, follow these tips to prevent your financial information from being compromised. To see the full list of tips, click on the blue buttons in this email.
Use a Secure Internet ConnectionWhen you login into any account containing sensitive info or submit a tax return online, make sure that you are on a private, password protected network. Don’t ever file taxes or access important information while on a public Wi-fi at Starbucks or the airport. Instead of clicking on email links, manually type in any website address. Also, make sure the website you connect with has a “https” in the URL and you see a lock symbol in the address bar.
Also, we recommend that you use a VPN connection. There are great VPN products like ExpressVPN. When browsing the Internet, they help protect your data and increase your privacy. They prevent third parties from collecting info about you.
Establish Clear Business Security Policies and ProceduresA business should have specific security policies and procedures in place and communicate them clearly to employees. For instance, every business should have a specific policy for managing users’ passwords. It should make sure that everyone uses strong, unique passwords with two-factor authentication. A business should require that passwords be changed every 30 – 60 days.
Every business should also educate employees on the different email and phone scams they could face, especially tax related ones. It should have specific procedures about what employees should do when they receive a suspicious email or call. For instance, employees should never open an attachment to an email that discusses tax information. Additional Safety TipsTo make sure you and your business are as safe as possible, we included some additional safety tips:When you receive a suspicious email or call, go directly to the source. If your manager asks for W2’s by email, call him or her to verify.If you file by regular mail, send the documents directly from the post office or a UPS/FedEx site. Do not leave your tax documents in your mailbox. Criminals may steal them.
About Nucleus Computer Services
We are a local IT service provider with remote service capability. We’ve been providing high quality small business and residential service in the Philadelphia area for over a decade and are actively involved in local business associations, such as the Delaware County and the Greater West Chester Chambers of Commerce. Unlike some IT providers that are one man shops and therefore unreliable, Nucleus takes a team approach. This ensures we always have adequate coverage for our customers and have the diversity necessary to tackle most any issue. Our team has varied skills and talents, which allows us to offer a diverse set of solutions. On average, our technicians have over 10 years of IT experience and hold a number of industry specific certifications and designations.
If you have any questions that need assistance with your home or office network, please feel free to visit Nucleus’s Contact Us page.
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