Keeping Taxpayer Data Secure

Keeping Taxpayer Data Secure

The annual global cost of cybercrime is high and getting higher all the time. In fact, cyber criminals reap a windfall from their activities that is likely to be in the trillions. Much of that cybercrime began with—and continues to start with—a social engineering concept known as “phishing.”

Certain business organizations, among which are those referred to as “financial institutions,” are charged by the FTC with taking particular steps to protect their customers’ financial information. Included in the category of financial institutions are professional tax preparers. Professional tax preparers normally maintain a significant amount of taxpayer information in various files—electronic and paper—that would be a treasure trove for cyber criminals.

In this course, tax preparers are introduced to the problem of cybercrime and its costs, offered methods that can be expected to reduce the chances of becoming a cybercrime victim, and informed of proper steps to take if they do become victims of cybercrime.

Upon completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  • Recognize the pervasiveness of cybercrime;
  • Identify the potential costs and risk of experiencing a data breach;
  • Understand the best practices that may be implemented to protect a tax preparer from cybercrime; and
  • List the responsibilities of a tax preparer who has experienced a taxpayer data breach.

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