Tax season is a time of year when many of us are reminded about how important it is to backup our data and records. We need to focus on this so we don’t inadvertently let anything slip through the cracks. It is often easier said than done though. Learning about the best ways to backup your data during tax season could help you avoid falling into some of the most dangerous cybersecurity situations that you might otherwise find yourself in.
Among the best ways to keep your tax records safe this season is to back them up locally and offsite. This is to say that you should keep a backup set of records for them in a secure offsite location so that you aren’t relying on storing them all in the cloud or one centralized electronic location. The danger of keeping them stored online in a single area is that you could be devastated by a single hacker’s attack on your records. You want to avoid that outcome, and that means having a set of your tax records that you keep securely locked away offsite.
Knowing that you have a backup set of your records stored offline means that you can rest a little easier knowing that your records will be safe and maintained even if there is some kind of attack against your documents. People often forget to account for that when they are setting up their plan for how they will backup and maintain their records. Don’t let yourself be one of those people.
Many taxpayers opt to keep their tax records stored online in a cloud somewhere (as well as maintaining an offline copy). That is perfectly reasonable, but you must make sure you select the cloud where you will store those records very carefully. Not all clouds are created equal, and you could end up in a situation where you have records stored in a particularly vulnerable cloud.
Another problem that some run into is that they put their trust in a cloud system that simply collapses in a short period. This is what happened to users of the cloud backup service provided by TurboTax for a time. TurboTax ended that service with very little notice, and those who had come to rely on it found themselves scrambling to find another place to put their tax records. They likely felt like they were put in quite a bind because TurboTax provided so little notice. This is why you must carefully select the cloud service that you will ultimately use to keep your records maintained. If you are not laser-focused on this, then you might end up in a vulnerable position that you didn’t want to be in.
Always provide an extra hard copy of your tax records to someone you trust. This is a redundant step that hopefully won’t matter in the long run at all. However, you always want to be able to count on someone else holding a copy of your tax records in case you have any reason at all to need to produce a secondary copy of those records. A few of the types of people that you might consider providing this backup document to include:
Generally, you should keep it limited to these individuals. Providing those types of documents to someone that you believe to be a trusted friend is not a great idea. This could leave you in a tricky situation if that person wasn’t as worthy of your trust as you believed they were. There have been some sad situations in which someone who was believed to be a trusted friend turned out to not be worthy of the trust bestowed upon them. Therefore, keep your circle of people you trust very tight and only offer a backup copy of these documents to those individuals.
Work on creating a secure space within your home where you can store tax documents without worrying about losing them or having them fall into the wrong hands. You should easily be able to access the documents that you require whenever you need them. If that is not currently the case in your home, then you need to do something about that to improve your storage procedures and give yourself access to the materials you require whenever you require them.
Different types of people select different places to put their special tax documents. Tell your trusted loved ones where that space is and what kind of documents you are storing in there. They need to know these details in case anything bad ever happens to you. Spread that information to them so that they are well aware of what to look for and how to locate specific information about your tax records from years gone by.
There are a lot of ways to backup your data securely both online and off. When you contact us we will gladly provide you with the information you need about how to keep your records safe and secure. It is the time of year when you should be thinking carefully about exactly that, and we want to help provide you with the clarity and information you require to get it done.
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