The answers to data security issues are all around you – not just in your computer system. On your desk. On the copier. In that box on the floor of the storage closet.
It’s important to look for all the places you store data and consider whether that data is secure.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use – and share with your colleagues – to help ensure the security of the sensitive data used in your company:
- Are all the physical places – rooms, storage closets, file cabinets, computer rooms, etc. – where taxpayer information is located protected from unauthorized access?
- What about other potential dangers such as theft, flood and tornado?
- Are there written procedures that prevent unauthorized access and unauthorized processes?
- Is taxpayer data stored in the cloud secure?
- Do you or someone on your team routinely check desks, photocopiers, mailboxes, vehicles and trashcans for papers that expose information?
- Do you have a plan for everyone on your team who authorizes or controls delivery and removal of taxpayer information, including data stored electronically?
- Is there a secure disposal of taxpayer information, such as shredders, burn boxes, or secure temporary file areas for information until it can be properly disposed?
- Questions for tax prepares to ask themselves about data security
- Strategies to keep company data safe when an employee leaves (Forbes)
- For employees: Keep your own personal data safe at work (Monster)
- Keep data safe when working remotely (CMS Wire)
- From the IRS: Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data; Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself