Don’t Take the Bait – Protecting Systems and Data From Breaches

Week nine of the 10-week IRS series “Don’t Take the Bait”, which discusses security risks and protection strategies for tax professionals, addresses the key role of daily security in protecting systems and data from breaches. The author recommends that “tax professionals should conduct ongoing education of office employees to combat daily threats.”

Since 2001, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce—has put forth a small business guide with recommendations for everyday steps all employees should take in order to deter cybercriminals. These include:

  • Be careful of email attachments and web links
  • Use separate personal and business computers, mobile devices and accounts
  • Do not connect personal or untrusted storage devices or hardware into computers, mobile devices or networks
  • Be careful downloading software
  • Watch out when providing personal or business information
  • Watch for harmful pop-ups
  • Use strong passwords
  • Conduct online business securely

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