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Protecting Personal Information When Communicating Online

Occasionally reviewing best practices for sending sensitive information is a good idea to keep all of our information safe. Email is the biggest security threat we regularly work with. A good rule of thumb is to treat an email message like a postcard that anyone could read as it travels from your computer to the message’s destination. If you were to put sensitive information in an unencrypted email, it could get forwarded along, accidentally cc’ed to someone, or it could be copied or extracted by one of the servers it travels through on its way to its destination. If you’re sending HCM sensitive information, always remember to either use your HCM Vault or request a secure Sharefile link from us.

If you’re sending secure information in other situations, make sure the program you’re using employs end-to-end encryption. Several secure messaging apps exist to provide this, such as Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp. If you’re sending a larger file or set of files, another option is to use a file storage service such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox to upload files and only grant access to the people you want to see your information. These programs have the added benefit that you can revoke permission should you choose to in the future. Or, if you don’t have access to those applications, you can put your information in a password-protected zip file, send it as an attachment, and call the recipient to tell them what the password is.

HCM’s tax department is enhancing digital security with new tools for transmitting sensitive tax information such as engagement letters, tax organizers, and the electronic filing of tax returns. Those who utilize HCM’s tax preparation services will receive more information about these new tools.

Please call if there’s anything you’re unsure about – your financial security is of the utmost importance to us, and information security is vital to financial security. 

Return to January 2023 Newsletter

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