Avoiding Tax Data and Identity Theft This Holiday Season
As you may know, Cyber Monday is the busiest and biggest online shopping day in the U.S. But what you may not know is that Cyber Monday is also a favorite holiday among identity thieves.
Theft of personal information is a serious threat in our digital age, and it’s one that ramps up during the peak of online holiday shopping.
The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that National Tax Security Awareness Week 2019 will begin Monday, December 2, and run through Friday, December 6.
As technology continues to become more integrated in our daily lives, it is more important than ever to protect your personal information and understand the basics of data security.
Stay informed and keep your tax data and personal information protected this holiday season with these key security tips:
1. Keep your mobile and electronic devices secure.
This includes using strong, unique passwords, backing up digital files frequently, and using 2-factor authentication to prevent theft of personal information.
2. Protect your personal information.
Avoid oversharing personal information on social media – information about a past home address, new car, or new home – as identity thieves can use this information to hack your accounts.
3. Avoid phishing email scams!
These are fake emails used by identity thieves to trick users into giving up personal information, like passwords, pin numbers, and social security information. Be cautious of emails that a) Have an urgent message (ie. ‘Update your personal information now!’), b) Pose as a trusted source (ie. A tax consultant or bank) and c) Include instructions to open a link, attachment or download software.
4. Avoid false charitable solicitations.
The end of the year is a major fundraising period for charities. Scammers often solicit for donations posing as charities. If you get a phone call or email soliciting money from a charity that you’re not familiar with, don't provide financial information. Instead, donate to established charities or look up the charity online and donate through secure websites.
5. Check your bank and credit card statements often.
If you are shopping online during the holiday season, it’s easy to miss fraudulent activity. That’s why it’s so important to check your bank and credit card statements often and check your credit report annually.
We hope these tips come in handy this holiday season. Still have questions? Contact us
to speak with one of our business consultants today. This guide is based on the Internal Revenue Service’s Taxes. Security. Together.
News from RS&F
You Care, We Care Award
This quarter, we are proud to present RS&F Associate Yoon Kim and the Church of Philippi with the “You Care, We Care” Award!
When RS&F Associate Yoon Kim first came to the country over ten years ago, he didn’t know anyone. That all changed when he started attending the Church of Philippi. There, he found a community that he has called his second family for ten years. Yoon got involved in the organization’s high school ministry, volunteered as a singer, and is currently part of the “Ride Team,” where he volunteers giving rides to people who don’t have cars who want to attend the church.
Today, Yoon is actively involved in the Young Adult Group, which serves as a community for college-aged people and young adults. RS&F’s contribution will support the Young Adult Group's Winter Retreat. We are proud to have Yoon as a part of our team!
RS&F's Michael Maile Sworn In as CPA
We are excited to congratulate RS&F Associate, Michael Maile, who was recently sworn in as a Certified Public Accountant. At RS&F, we pride ourselves on working with the best and brightest stars in our field.
Pictured: Michael Maile, CPA, and RS&F Partner Thomas Stranger, CPA, at the swearing in ceremony mid-November.
RS&F Thanksgiving Bake-Off
We hope you're excited for the holiday season -- we know we are! The RS&F team celebrated Thanksgiving with an office-wide dessert bake-off. We baked, shared and voted on our favorite sweet treats. The winner of this year's bake-off was RS&F's Wade Young with his delicious caramel apple cheesecake (pictured below on the right).
Podcasts Worth Sharing
At RS&F, we’re always looking for new podcasts to inspire, educate and entertain our team. This month, our Podcast Recommendation comes from RS&F Associate Anthony DiMartino. Anthony recommends, Safe for Work. From negotiating raises to knowing when it’s time to move on to a new job, this podcast gives expert advice about moments in the office that can be challenging to overcome. Podcast hosts Liz Dolan and Rico Gagliano know first-hand how life in the work place can be. Safe for Work gives helpful career advice that’s lively and fun. In their most recent episode, they discuss “bad advice” with Oscar-nominated actress and critically acclaimed author, Quinn Cummings. Anytime you have a burning question or are seeking advice for life in the work place, tune into Safe for Work.
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