Identity theft is a large and growing problem. People whose identities are stolen spend many hours fixing the problems resulting from it. As CPAs, we receive sensitive information from our clients. We use various methods to protect your information while it is in our office. But it is also important that our clients protect their information while it is in transit to us. Information is at risk when it is emailed without protection.
Standard email is insecure. Emails pass through unknown servers as they are routed from you to us. The body of the message is transmitted in a readable format. Attachments can be opened if they have not been protected. Thus, it is possible that information in emails could be intercepted along the way. For your protection, do not put sensitive information, such as social security numbers, in the body of an email, and do not email any attachments containing sensitive information without protecting them first.
There are other, more secure, methods that may be used to send information to us. First, we have a portal site called SecureDrawer that you may use to upload documents. The upload process is encrypted between your computer and SecureDrawer and from SecureDrawer to our office. If you would like to use this method, please contact our receptionist to set up an account.
Second, if your software program will password-protect the attachments, then do so before sending them to us. A good password will help protect the attachments during the email process. After you have sent the email with the protected attachments, send the password to us in a separate email or call.
Third, the information may be faxed to us at (360) 573-4499.
Fourth, the documents may be mailed by regular mail or dropped off at our office. If you wish to drop off the information, but cannot get to our office during our business hours, there is a mail slot located to the side of the front door. Items dropped through the slot will be routed to your accountant. Place the documents in an envelope and mark it to the attention of your accountant.
Peterson & Associates takes the security of your information seriously. The steps above may be less convenient for you, but we believe they will provide better protection for your information.