Is your computer secure? Is your anti-virus software up-to-date? Are you doing everything you can to protect your clients? Identity thieves continuously target tax professionals to steal taxpayer’s sensitive data. It is your responsibility to keep your clients safe. You can take simple security measures to ensure the safety of your computer and your business. TaxSlayer Pro offers a number of recommended security practices to help you counter potential threats that could harm your office.
Have a reputable security package, but do not assume that is merely enough. Simply having anti-virus software may not be enough to protect you and your clients. TaxSlayer Pro does not recommend any particular security package, however there are packages that work best with the program and those that interfere with the program. Regardless of the software used, it should be updated regularly.
Security Packages that work best with TaxSlayer Pro:
- Microsoft’s Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials
- Symantec’s Norton Security or Norton Anti-Virus
- McAfee Anti-Virus or McAfee Total Protection
Security Packages that interfere with TaxSlayer Pro:
Keep your operating system updated. It is wise to turn on your automatic updates for Windows and any other application you use on your computer. If an application on your computer doesn’t offer automatic updates, it is important for you to check for updates and new versions regularly.
Run only the necessary programs for your tax office. For the computer running TaxSlayer Pro, keep the number of applications and programs minimal. The more things added to your computer, the higher the possibility of your computer becoming vulnerable.
Don’t click on pop-up windows. Use ALT-F4 to close. Pop-up windows and messages are how many infections start. Clicking close to close a popup could infect your computer. If any window appears suspicious, use ALT-F4 to close.
Don’t click links or open attachments in emails from addresses you don’t recognize. Scammers will send phishing emails in attempt to steal data from you. If an email has a link or attachment, verify the source before opening.
Use a strong password. There are reasons TaxSlayer requires complex passwords. The more complex the password, the less likely you are to get hacked. Avoid reusing the same password, and make sure every password is strong. We recommend using a password manager to help you keep track of your passwords. These programs will help you stay organized and alert you if you are reusing any password. Some password managers are: LastPass, Dashlane, and Sticky Password.
Use multi-factor authentication. This will help verify if you are the one logging into your account. If your password has been compromised, the hacker will not be able to access your account. We recommend using this authentication for any program and website that allows it.
Lock your computer when you aren’t using it. If you don’t already, lock your computer. This is the easiest way to ensure your files are safe and secure.