Four Ways to Reduce Cybercrime in Your Tax Office
The pandemic and the convenience of technology has made companies integrate more virtual platforms into the way they conduct their day-to-day business.
While this makes life easier in a lot of ways, it also boosts the risk of cybersecurity issues. The increased online communication is a dream for hackers looking to access sensitive information.
There are many industries that need to be especially careful when it comes to protecting their online communication, and the tax industry is at the forefront. Tax prep experts handle documents containing their client’s business account numbers, social security numbers and more. One careless move and a hacker can get instant access.
Not only can this have financial repercussions for your client, but it can also give you a bad reputation in the industry negatively affecting your potential to grow your business.
So what can you do to reduce the risk of cybercrime? Here are a few good ideas.
Create Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are long and contain uppercase and lower-case letters as well as numbers and special characters. It’s important to avoid using the same password for all your accounts. You should also stay away from something obvious like your birthday or the word ‘password’.
There are tools you can use online to help you generate passwords and measure their strength. It’s advisable to use these when you create your codes.
Back Up Documents
If you get hacked, your files may become corrupted. This can cause you to lose access to important documents. Backing them up will protect your data so you always have an extra copy.
There are several ways to back up documents including uploading them to the Cloud, One Drive or Google Drive. Choose the method that’s most convenient for you.
Don’t Click on Scammy Links
It’s common for hackers to send scammy links to businesses via email. Hackers hope that they will click on these links and gain access to their personal information.
Scammy links can be very deceptive as hackers often create them to look like they are coming from a business associate. However, you can suss them out by looking for certain characteristics. These include:
- Stating they noticed suspicious activity on your accounts
- Claiming there’s a problem with your account or payment information
- Asking you to confirm personal information
- Including a fake invoice
- Requesting that you click on a link to make a payment
- Saying your eligible for a government refund
- Offering free stuff
Take a Cybercrime Course
You can also encourage your employees to take a course in cybercrime. This will help them identify suspicious activity to reduce the risk of breaches at your office.
Latino Tax Pro includes a short course of Best Practices to Counteract Cybercrime in our Continuing Education Bundle. You will learn about the IRS mandate on protecting yourself and your clients.
In addition to offering tips for preventing cybercrime, the bundle also offers current tax updates and information on business entities, electronic filing, extensions & amendments and more.
Cybercrime is all too prevalent. If your tax company gets hacked, it can negatively affect your business in a big way. The tips in this article will help you keep your office safe and your clients happy. What do you do to reduce the risk of online attacks?