As we become more paperless, more and more tech savvy landlords prefer to file their taxes online. That means we need to become more aware of the online risks. Especially when it comes to stealing sensitive data.
Whenever you surf the Internet or read an email, you should always take caution of where you are “virtually.” There are bad neighborhoods in every city and those same places exist online. It is becoming harder for online criminals, so now they create areas hoping you come to them.
If there are parts of town you would not walk alone at night, then you too should take caution about places you go online. Don’t just assume anywhere you go is safe and everything sent to you should be opened. Know which sites you are familiar with and those you aren’t. If it is a site you have never been before, then go forward cautiously. Don’t blindly click “ok” when you see something “pop-up” on your screen. It could be asking to install malware and you saw it as annoying, so clicked ok to get rid of it.
Following are some tips on how to stay safe when filing taxes online:
- When logging into tax websites, make sure that the website is secure. If you see the lock symbol in the website, it will let you know the website is secure. If the website is not secure, proceed to another website.
- Before clicking a link you receive in an email, hover over it and confirm the URL of the company is correct. If you are able to access a website directly versus using a link, it is always advisable.
- If the sender is unfamiliar to you or the message has poor grammar, it has a high probability of being fraudulent. Do not open any attachments and simply delete the email.
- When downloading attachments, run an AV scan before double-clicking.
- If you are using cloud software to store accounting or other secure information, make sure it has a secure protocol (for example, TenantCloud uses 256-bit encryption through SSL and treats users’ information in the strictest confidence, storing it in highly secure AWS data centers.)
We hope these tips will help you stay secure during the tax season!
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