Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC|Internet Security|Green Bay

Internet Security

   

For families with children and aging parents, it's important to make sure everyone guards their personal information online at home.

       

  • If everyone in your family uses the same computer, do not turn off any security software or open any suspicious emails. Never click on embedded links or download attachments of emails from unknown sources. Actions by one computer user could infect the machine for all users.

  • Protect personal data. Don’t routinely carry a Social Security card, and make sure tax records are secure. Treat personal information like cash; don’t hand it out to just anyone. The easiest way for criminals to steal sensitive data is simply to ask for it. Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank and utility account numbers can be used to steal money or open new accounts. Every time a taxpayer receives a request for personal information, they should think about whether the request is truly necessary. Scammers will do everything they can to appear trustworthy and legitimate.

  • Do not store credit card information on any web site (Amazon, EBay, etc.).  Kids & aging parents should be warned against oversharing personal information on social media. Oversharing addresses, a new family car or a parent’s new job gives identity thieves a window into an extra bit of information they need to impersonate you.racters.  Try to be unpredictable – don’t use your name, birth date, pet names or common words.  Don’t use the same password for many accounts.  If it is stolen from you – or from one of the companies with which you do business – it can be used to take over all your accounts.  Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email.  Legitimate companies will not send you messages asking for your password.  If you get such a message, it’s probably a scam.  Keep your passwords in a secure place, out of plain sight.​

  • Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records that are stored on the computer. Use strong passwords. The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack. Don’t use the same  password  for all of your accounts. If the password is stolen, it can be used to break into multiple accounts. Keep your passwords in a secure place.​

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  • If your computer has a webcam, keep the camera covered with a Post-It note so if an outsider does log into your computer, they cannot see your home through the webcam. 

  • Protect your passwords.  The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.  Use at least 10 characters; 12 is ideal for most home users.  Mix letters, numbers and special characters.  Try to be unpredictable – don’t use your name, birth date, pet names or common words.  Don’t use the same password for many accounts.  If it is stolen from you – or from one of the companies with which you do business – it can be used to take over all your accounts.  Don’t share passwords on the phone, in texts or by email.  Legitimate companies will not send you messages asking for your password.  If you get such a message, it’s probably a scam.  Keep your passwords in a secure place, out of plain sight.

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  • Always use security software with a firewall and anti-virus protection and be sure the security software is always turned on and can automatically update. Never download “security” software from a pop-up ad. A popular pop-up ad is one that indicates it has detected a virus on the computer and directs you to download a security software package. Don’t do it! It most likely will install some type of malware. Reputable security software companies do not advertise their product like this.​

  • Don’t assume ads or emails are from reputable companies.  Check out companies to find out if they are legitimate.  When you’re online, a little research can save you a lot of money and reduce your security risk.  If you see an ad or an offer that looks too good, take a moment to check out the company behind it.  Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”  If you find bad reviews, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. If you cannot find contact information for the company, take your business and your financial information elsewhere.  Even if a site features an ad for another site doesn’t mean that it endorses the advertised site, or is even familiar with it.​

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Learn More About Email Security
               
  • Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening phone calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as banks, credit card companies and government organizations, including the IRS. Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails. ​

  • Seniors are also especially vulnerable to scam calls and pressure from fraudsters posing as legitimate organizations, including  the Internal Revenue Service, and demanding payment for debts not owed.  The IRS will never make threats of lawsuit or jail  or demand that a certain payment method be used.

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  • Back up files. No system is completely secure. Copy important files, including federal and state tax returns, onto a removable disc or a back-up drive, and store it in a safe place. If storing sensitive tax and financial records on a personal computer, use a file encryption program to add an additional layer of security.

  • Aging parents may also need assistance for someone to routinely review charges to their credit cards or withdrawals from their financial accounts.  Unused credit cards should be canceled.  An annual review should be made of their credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com to ensure no new accounts are being opened by thieves, and reviewing the Social Security Administration account to ensure no excessive income is accruing to their account.

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 Our primary goal as a trusted advisor is to be available and to provide insightful advice to enable our clients to make informed financial decisions.

Continually striving for accuracy, excellence and the highest level of integrity.

Strive Tax & Accounting, LLC

CPA's specializing in small business tax and accounting with emphasis in construction and manufacturing for corporation and passthrough entities.

PO Box 28353

Green Bay, WI 54324

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