31 Oct Tips From Accounting Professionals on How to Avoid Identity Theft
Accounting professionals have been aware of Cybercrimes that are growing each year at an alarming rate. From tax refund fraud to corporate takeover, business owners and individuals alike are having to take much stronger measures these days. In order to protect yourself and your business, it’s important to understand the various methods that cybercriminals use, along with some of the best ways to stop them.
An article in the October 2012 Journal of Accountancy uncovered how three defendants were able to file more than 5,000 false tax returns. This was accomplished using the Social Security numbers of deceased taxpayers. The thieves were able to claim fraudulent refunds totaling over $14 million.
The truth is that just about all of us are vulnerable to an attack like this. Identity thieves have become very adept at stealing our personal information. Once they have the relevant personally identifiable information of someone living, they can quite easily file a fraudulent return under your name. Once this happens, it can take the IRS up to a year to get it straightened out.
Privacy Protection Tips From Your Accounting Professionals
Most accounting professionals have a number of measures in place to protect your private information but individuals are not so thorough. Even small business owners can get careless. For instance, you may have sensitive info on computer hard drives that are used daily by new employees. Do you perform background and criminal checks on all new employees? Some business owners do and some don’t.
It’s a good idea to have someone from your IT department to go around and check hard drives that can be accessed by any employee to see exactly what’s there. You probably have trusted accounting people working at your company who understand the importance of keeping sensitive documents safe. Some small business owners are doing their own accounting though, in order to save money.
Say you have documents sprawled out on your desk with bank account information on them and suddenly get called away from your office. Someone could come in while you’re gone…for instance a cleaning person, and steal your account numbers. It’s important to take a moment and lock the documents away.
Accounting Firms in Florida
Avalon Accounting offers numerous professional accounting services to individuals and business owners. We can handle billing paying, a weekly payroll for small businesses, and day-to-day bookkeeping tasks. Avalon Accounting is proud to serve Coral Springs and all of the south Florida area with top notch accounting services that are personalized and completely affordable. Call or stop by to discuss your accounting needs.