Last updated: Nov. 23, 2016
Small Business Tax and Online Security Tips
Small business owners want to protect their physical assets. They are, after all, the backbone of the company.
But, just as you would protect your physical business, you also need to make sure your online operations, financial information, investments, and customer information is secure.
Data breaches and stolen information can undermine a company’s reputation. It means you could also be at risk of being hacked when preparing or filing your taxes.
Most think security breaches only happen to big companies, but that isn’t the case.
Security breaches happen to small businesses across Canada on an almost daily basis. Just like big businesses, small businesses manage sensitive corporate and customer data.
Unlike a big business though, most small Canadian businesses don’t have a full-time IT department or security staff. And with limited resources, small businesses can be easier targets.
In addition to offering small business tax tips and providing our customers with income tax preparation and tax filing services, our tax specialists at FBC want to help you protect your business data, all year long.
One measure we take at FBC is to use email software that has the ability to send encrypted emails so any sensitive client data we send is protected. In fact, our email system will reject any email we attempt to send that looks like it contains sensitive information and isn’t encrypted.
5 Ways to Protect Your Small Business from a Security Breach
Use Security Software
Security software is not a luxury. It is the first line of defense for protecting corporate and customer data against cyber-criminals.
Basic anti-virus software won’t cut it anymore. Small businesses need to install robust, multilayered security software.
Use Strong Passwords
One of the first steps to keeping your online business’ data safe is ensuring you use a strong, original password—and change it regularly.
Do not auto-save your login information. And when you finish an online session on a site with sensitive account information, like a bank, make sure you log out. Don’t simply close the search window.
Protect Mobile Devices
A small business can be put at risk if the company’s smartphone, laptop, or tablet gets into the wrong hands. That’s because more than half of all employees say they store sensitive data on these kinds of devices.
To minimize the risk of a data breach, require staff to password-protect mobile devices. You can also enable a remote locate, lock, and erase features on the devices should they go missing or get stolen.
Keep Financial Information Private
Hackers can steal your information via official-looking emails that seem to originate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or your bank.
The CRA will never request financial or personal information through an email, so do not click on any links in the email and definitely do not provide personal information.
The same goes for providing personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call or know the person you are talking to.
Don’t Store Financial Information Online
How can you not store your company’s financial information online? That’s why you use a computer in the first place—for ease and convenience.
On top of that, the CRA needs you to hold onto all your financial data, tax receipts, records, and supporting documents for six years.
Instead of storing information online, when you’re finished getting all your paperwork in order for the tax filing process, burn the information onto a CD.
For further backup, you can also print off all your information and make sure it is stored securely. Then delete the information from your computer.
FBC, Protecting Small Business Throughout the Year
Once you’ve secured your tax records, it’s time to start the tax filing process. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Canadian taxpayers don’t like to prepare or file their taxes.
The easiest way to navigate Canada’s confusing tax process is to use the small business tax experts at FBC.
FBC has been helping small business owners across Canada with their annual tax filing process since 1952.
Over the last 65 years, we’ve helped tens of thousands of Canadian small business owners and farmers minimize their income taxes and maximize their assets.
For more information on how FBC tax specialists can help your small business with its income tax preparation, accounting, financial planning, bookkeeping, and advisory services, call us today at 1-800-265-1002 or submit an online form and an FBC tax specialist will contact you at your earliest convenience.