How Tax Preparers Add Extra Security During Tax Time

privacy filter for tax preparers

 

With tax time comes the increased risk of identity theft. Many accountants and tax preparers ramp up their digital security with malware protection, encryption and high security networks. Yet often visual security is overlooked. The tactic of gleaning information from computer screens in a glance is one of many used by the modern hacker.  A privacy filter is the best way to thwart this information hunting expedition.

Why Privacy Filters Are Not Used

In many instances, workers complaint that privacy filters are inconvenient. After all, sometimes it is necessary to show your screen to a coworker and the privacy screen has to be removed and put back on. For this reason, Fellowes created the PrivaScreen Filter with Quick Reveal Tabs, making the screen easier to attach and remove as needed.

Learn more about PrivaScreen:

Financial Professionals at Risk

Accountants in corporate offices are especially vulnerable. Feeling secure in their department, they lower their guard, reviewing sensitive information on their screens at computers that are within visual range of office traffic areas. And the larger the office the better, as unidentified workers from different departments, mailroom workers and building maintenance can wander through without suspicion. Many IT professionals recommend the use of blackout privacy filters on computer screens company wide. Blackout screens conceal visual content when viewed from side angles, while keeping the straight on views completely clear.

Many independent tax preparers, not having the traffic concerns of a busy corporate office are vulnerable as well. With a storefront office and a steady stream of clients during tax time, a quick glimpse at a screen may go unnoticed. Maintaining security with a privacy screen is a simple and effective measure that minimizes the risk for freelance preparers who can’t afford the liability.

Use the Perfect Fit Selector Tool to find the right size to fit your computer screen.

 

BYOD: The Risks and Rewards of Personal Digital Devices in the Workplace

using privacy filters in public

As the lines between personal life and work life blur, so too do the usage of our digital devices for both.  Many companies are embracing the BYOD trend (Bring Your Own Device) for its many benefits, including the reduction of inefficiencies that come with juggling corporate and personal devices.  Digital technology supplied by employers mean doubling the number of devices an employee may have to carry with them, along with the inconvenience of having to switch from corporate devices to personal as needed. Employees using their desktop or laptop computers  on work-from-home days to check emails and follow up on assignments improves productivity. And business travelers using their personal phones and tablets to conduct business on the road improves the efficiency of communication between on-the-go employees and the home office.

BYOD Policy Basics for Business

  • Implement cloud platforms for remote business operations so lost or stolen devices do not compromise important data
  • Provide privacy filters to help prevent visual security breaches
  • Provide and train employees on remote data management applications, including software that allows for remote wiping of data, scanning for malware and data leakage and archiving company information

Studies including Harris Interactive, Osterman Research and  Gartner Research have revealed key details to the BYOD trend.  In a study by Harris Interactive, it was revealed that nearly two-thirds of companies have no policies regarding the use of personal mobile devices at work, and 33% tolerate personal devices for business. In a Osterman Research white paper, the majority of both iPhones and Android phones used for corporate business were owned personally rather than by the corporation.  And Gartner research estimated that almost half of the world’s companies will no longer provide computer devices to employees in the near future, 40% will offer a choice between corporate or personal devices and only 15% will remain outside the BYOD model.

Why Companies and Employees Like BYOD

Companies save when employees use their personal devices. The average cost of supplying mobile computing devices is estimated to be $600 annually per employee. Also employees are more likely to upgrade their personal devices to the latest and greatest technology, offering faster performance and greater security.

Employee prefer their personal devices. A Unisys report found that 44% of employees find a job offer more attractive if they can use their personal devices on the job.

Risks to the BYOD Trend

With rewards come risks. When defining their BYOD policies, companies need to take in account the potential hazards of personal devices. The Harris survey revealed the following:

  • 31% of employees connect to their company’s network from an unsecured free or public Wi-Fi
  • 46% share their personal devices with others
  • 25% have been victims of hacking or malware on their personal devices
  • 52% of laptop users are simply ignoring the problem of shoulder surfing, potentially exposing sensitive, corporate information when accessing their devices in public

As it appears that BYOD may become a business practice more than a trend, companies need to review and implement policies that both protect sensitive company information while still offering the flexibility of the modern work/life balance.

Sources

http://www.welivesecurity.com/2012/04/04/byod-infographic-for-security-not-a-pretty-picture/
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036980/half-of-companies-will-require-byod-by-2017-gartner-says.html

 

How Computer-Based Testing Impacts Cheating

media-D8876A68

The shift to computer-based mandated testing creates new privacy concerns in the testing environment. As more states adopt digital testing platforms in schools, the risk among students for cheating rises.

  • During the 2014-2015 school year, roughly 5 million students across 10 states and the District of Columbia adopted new state mandated tests*
  • Nearly 81% of students took the exams on a computer or other technology device
  • Temptation for students to cheat is high, especially on high-stakes testing
  • 64% of students admit to cheating on a test**

New technology for improving privacy in the test-taking environment.

PrivaScreen_Monitor_Hero

Fellowes® PrivaScreen™ Blackout Privacy Filters keep on-screen information private, protecting test-takers from unwanted glances and making it easier for proctors to oversee technology-based exams. Learn more about installing privacy filters for classrooms.

 

* Edweek.org

** Plagarism.org