Between Winter and Spring there is another season that brings its own highs and lows: tax season. This is when hackers think that businesses are at their most vulnerable. These bad actors will pull out every trick up their sleeve in an attempt to steal identities, data, and money.
Being aware of the warning signs and red flags can be the first barrier to an incoming data breach attempt.
In the United States, the IRS frequently warns citizens about emails that look like they are coming from the agency. Especially during tax season. These are often phishing attempts that are aimed at getting harmful software into the taxpayers’ PC or a server.
In Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is constantly being used by hackers in an attempt to scam citizens and business owners. During income tax season, be on the lookout for emails that include links and ask for personal or financial information. The CRA will never ask for that kind of information over email or text.
If you want more info about a CRA scamming incident, check out our post about an email phishing incident here.
One of the worst things that can happen to you, and your credit score, is identity theft. This year, the IRS is receiving an alarming number reports of attempts to obtain employees’ W-2 forms with the hope of stealing personal information and identities. In the scam, a potential thief poses as a company executive, sending an email from an address that might look legitimate, and requests a list of employees and their W-2s.
The IRS states they will never initiate contact with people via email.
Tips for Protecting Your Business Information and Data:
- Conduct vulnerability tests and risk assessment plans
- Check your data backups (Mac, Windows 10)
- Make sure you’re using data encryption (Mac, Windows 10, Linux)
- Do some employee education
- Look into your network security
- Get insurance
Tax season is already a historically stressful time, try to do everything in your power to make sure it’s smooth sailing.
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