March 26, 2019
It’s that time of the year again – tax season. It’s no secret that this time of year brings anxiety to many when it comes to paying bills, but did you know that since 2016, personal data scams have increased by 400 per cent? This number is frightening since the average American uses more than 748 lbs of paper every year, with this number increasing around tax season. What you may not know is that identity thieves use tax-season as an opportunity to undermine a businesses’ information security procedures.
When filing your 2019 taxes, it’s important to pay extra attention to data protection in order to protect yourself from identity theft. To help you get started, we're reminding you to take action with these top 10 tips:
1. Tax season is the perfect time to shred! Eliminating the amount of confidential information is one way to prevent a breach.
2. Don’t forget about hard drives. Securely destroy hard drives from all obsolete devices.
3. With the rise of the open-office work concept, it is important to implement a Clean Desk Policy. This policy requires that all desks be cleaned, tidied and that no left-over paper is left lying around.
4. Educate, educate, educate! Human Resource departments need to continuously train employees throughout the year on data protection practices. The 2018 Security Tracker found that millennials – despite growing up in the digital age – were the most likely to be the cause of a data breach. With that said, all employees need to be continuously trained on data protection practices.
5. Don’t forget about those kick-knacks! Sticky notes, post-it notes and shipping labels all contain confidential information. Those documents need to be destroyed when they are no longer needed.
6. Do not use unknown USB devices. Only use company-approved devices at all times.
7. Be on the lookout when working remotely. It’s important not to leave mobile devices, computers or documents unattended in public places.
8. Change your password on all electronic devices regularly.
9. Never share electronic devices with friends or family members.
10. If an electronic device or hard document is stolen, report this immediately to your human resource department. One data breach can cost your organization millions of dollars, not to mention the reputational damage that this causes.