Online preparation and filing make tax time easier for your small business. Programs like Turbo Tax® from Intuit® guide you through your return and when you’re finished, you can file it securely over the Internet. With this convenience, however, comes a greater risk for information loss. Cyber attacks aimed at stealing financial information are increasingly targeting small businesses, so if you are doing your taxes online, you should keep security top of mind.
Below are some suggestions from Symantec to help small businesses protect their critical financial information when filing their taxes online:
Secure your files
If you do your business’ taxes on a company computer, you will surely have some highly sensitive financial information on your hard drive and moving across your network. Make sure your files are secured with password-protected directories and accounts, and that your entire system is protected. Also, if you’re using wireless when filing electronically, be sure to use a secure Internet connection and do not use a public wireless hotspot.
Back up financial data
It’s important to back up your company’s financial data regularly to ensure it is protected. Keep backups on a medium outside of your computer — whether you burn them to a CD, copy them to an external drive or upload them to your ISP’s storage space. As with your hard copy financial documents, be sure that any backups of electronic financial records are kept in a secure environment. If they need to be deleted, do so in a secure manner.
Keep your software updated
As the threat landscape changes, the software we use has to change with it. Be sure to keep your security software up-to-date to ensure it can address the most current threats to your information. The effectiveness of your business’ security software — from malware protection to spam prevention — depends on keeping it current.
By using these tips, you’ll be able to take advantage of the convenience of filing taxes electronically — without putting yourself at risk of the serious damage that can come if your business loses its data or falls prey to a security threat.