It's tax season again, and in addition to those vacation plans and expensive gadgets that we are planning on purchasing with our hefty tax returns, come scammers and online fraud seekers.
Along with taking caution with phone calls to "confirm" your tax information, you want to make sure you are also staying away from those suspicious phishing emails and those online banners that have offers that sound too good to be true. By allowing these scammers to access your data, they will not only take advantage of your personal information, but your computer's information as well.
Fraud is a real problem in today's electronic and internet driven society, and now is the prime time for these individuals to take what they want and never look back. In fact, according to an article with CNBC, "The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration recently projected that victims collectively have paid more than $50 million to scammers posing as IRS officials since October 2013. The average amount lost is $5,200." -Tom Anderson, (Follow him on Twitter @bytomanderson).The IRS is doing what they can, but you will have to do your part to keep yourself safe.
TOP 3 THINGS YOU CAN DO-SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONS
There are a number of ways that you can keep yourself safe, so that you don't fall subject to this type of fraud.
1. DON'T GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION-Scammers often call you from an unknown number, and ask for your personal information. If you do not know the caller, don't give out your personal details. These scammers are known for gathering your pertinent demographics, and making attempts to get you to give money and banking information. Stop them in their tracks, before they get what they want.
2. DON'T OPEN SUSPICIOUS EMAILS -Thanks to spam email filtering programs like Appriver, like we use here at Mode5, you can dramatically decrease your chances of getting spam. Our Support technicians have seen tickets and have received calls that contain this type of issue. They include requests for obtaining financial information with an urgency for contact, including making threats regarding your information. Be sure not to click on unknown links, and avoid opening any type of suspicious emails with attachments. These types of emails can open virus files on your computer, putting your information and your computer data at risk. For further information on phishing scams and identity theft, several of our Support technicians recommend checking out the website Identity Theft Killer, for 8 Ways to Avoid Phishing Scams, for additional tips on keeping your data safe.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR VIRUS PROTECTION IS ACTIVE-Keeping your virus protection information and software up to date is KEY in making sure that your data is protected. Avoid clicking on those banner ads that ask for information, or provide an offer that is suspiciously enticing. Viruses, such as Ransomware, are known for shutting down companies completely, if not handled. According to the KnowBe4: Security Awareness Training Blog from January 23, 2017, "As much as 60 percent of hacked small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months", after being attacked by these type of viruses.
That’s why here at Mode5, we recommend and offer daily backups, Firewall protection, anti-virus protection and Advanced Security. We work proactively to make sure that your company is being protected and monitored to make sure that as our clients, your data is not vulnerable to this type of hardship.
Stay safe and take precaution this tax season!
Questions? Feel free to contact our Support Department for additional information on how to protect your business. Call us today at 757-628-8324, option 2.