Connected Technology & The Future of Your Data

Facebook’s recent data scandal with Cambridge Analytica highlights just how much can be collected without your knowledge via third-party apps. The data scandal has been tied to a paid online survey from 2014, requiring participants to download and connect an app to their Facebook pages before receiving payment. It ultimately begs the question: is it possible to use data-driven, connected technology without putting our identities at risk? 

The Age of Technology 

Welcome to the Age of Technology, a world that gives us anything we need with only a few swipes and clicks. As connected technology only continues to grow, it’s safe to say that it will eventually play a role in most – if not all – areas of life. 

In 2017, Cisco predicted that North Americans would have an average of 13 networked devices or connections – per person. It’s now more important than ever to understand what “connected” really means, and how your data plays a role in your day-to-day connections. 

If connecting is a normal part of your day, it’s time we had “The Talk.” As we continue connecting to more networks, devices, friends and cloud storage, it’s imperative we discuss the relationship you have with your data, as well as technology’s role within it.   Continue reading

File Taxes Early to Avoid Tax Fraud and Identity Theft

Get Ahead of Tax Fraud and Identity Theft 

Filing your taxes can be a pain, but dealing with tax fraud and identity theft can be even worse. As we scramble to compile our W-2s and file our returns by the April deadline, we often forget that tax season is also considered open season for identity thieves. 

Many of last year’s large-scale data breaches (like Equifax and Alteryx) have already given identity thieves a leg-up in the tax fraud and identity theft game. These breach events exposed a multitude of personal and financial information that experts predict will be used to fraudulently file tax returns this year. 

Fraudsters also effectively cover their bases by using a variety of tax-related scams that play on a victim’s fears. Scammers hope they can convince you to hand over personal and financial information to be used in other crimes. 

What should you look for? What can you do? Find all the answers to your tax crime-related questions concerning your personal information, the scams targeting you and best tax-filing practices.     Continue reading