About Services
Contact
Tools
News Guides


  

IDENTITY THEFT SERIES: PART 5

 

October 30, 2015
DON'T BE TRICKED:   There has been a recent increase in telephone scams with some of our own clients being targeted.  Thank goodness none of them have become victims, either because they've read our newsletters or they called us to ask.
 
Remember, the IRS will never call you to make threats and demand payment!

We've covered a lot in this series, from the theft of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' personal information and what the IRS is doing about it, to the grim statistics on identity fraud and what you can do to minimize your own risk. 

 

In our final edition, we will focus on a another large segment of our clients - small businesses.

  

Update on Protecting Taxpayers
The IRS just announced that it is making progress on strengthening protections against identity theft fraud for the 2016 tax season.  In partnership with tax-related companies and other organizations, the IRS and state tax administrators have focused on improving the verification of taxpayers and their return information, increasing the sharing of information to help detect fraud, and developing better strategies for risk prevention.
 
Says IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, "We are breaking new ground in the battle against identity theft."  Let's hope so!
   
How Secure is your Small Business?
Small businesses are being targeted more than ever - over HALF were victims of cyberattacks in 2014, and that figure is rising significantly. As a small business owner, you may think your data is not valuable, but thieves are looking for any private information, and your vulnerability to a breach extends to employees and any outside contractors you do business with.
 
What are some of the TRICKS used against small businesses? Hacker typing on a laptop with binary code background
  • Business email fraud - malware gains access to vendors' email for falsifying purchases and collecting payments
  • Corporate account takeover - malware gains access to company's email for diverting online transfers to a criminal's account
  • Ransomware - encrypts a company's data files and demands payments to remote hackers in order to recover the data

Cyberhygiene Practices to Minimize your Risk:

  1. Regularly update your software on all devices and apply critical updates immediately
  2. Maintain state-of-the-art antivirus and anti-malware applications and multiple backup systems
  3. Close your online doors - laptops, computers, phones, printers, thermostats, etc. that are connected but not protected are targets for hackers
  4. Restrict access to software and sensitive information
  5. Use password generators and encryption when possible
  6. Securely store and dispose of sensitive documents, hard drives from computers, servers, and photocopiers as well as old flash drives and external media
  7. Develop a Security Plan and train and monitor your employees and contractors  - up to a third of breaches are caused by human negligence

 

  This is the last edition of our Identity Theft Series.  Thank you all for your feedback and engagement in this important conversation!
 
Our next newsletter will focus on TAX PLANNING - don't miss it!
 Boulder CPA Group | | nancy@bouldercpas.com | 1790 30th Street
Suite 418
Boulder, CO 80301