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Privacy

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1. Searching for privacy  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: I’ve heard that search engines such as Google and Yahoo! keep a record of your searches and the websites you visit and that they often share this personal information with other companies. I don’t do anything illicit on the internet, but I’m still not comfortable with these search engines recording my every move.

2. Substantiating trust  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: When introduced to new privacy solutions (such as DuckDuckGo or Disconnect), what assurances do we have that these solutions aren’t themselves stealthily tracking our computing or internet activities?A: Before trusting a lesser-known privacy solution, at a minimum make sure that it meets the following criteria:The company makes definitive public statements confirming it will not collect your data (which could subject it to lawsuits if it does).The company undergoes annual or periodic security audits by reputable auditors, and those findings are made public.The company is endorsed by well-known, high-profile companies that have a vested interest in protecting

3. Harnessing the power of the cloud  

BY Jeff Drew
Technology continues to transform the accounting profession. Cloud computing and mobile devices have untethered CPAs from their desks and desktops, allowing them to do work and access data on a virtually anytime, anywhere basis. Technology continues to break down geographic and market barriers, creating unprecedented opportunities for CPA firms and for CPAs in business and industry.

4. Stopping tax identity theft: Practical advice for CPAs and clients   CPEDirect

BY Valrie Chambers, CPA, Ph.D., and Rabih Zeidan, CPA, Ph.D.
Tax return and other tax-related identity theft is a growing problem that CPAs can help their clients with—both in taking preventive actions and in correcting problems after an identity thief has struck. Tax return identity theft occurs when someone uses a taxpayer’s personal information, such as name and Social Security number (SSN), without permission to commit fraud on tax returns to claim refunds or other credits to which a taxpayer is not entitled, or for other crimes.

5. What's your privacy IQ?  

BY Nancy A. Cohen, CPA/CITP, CGMA, and Marilyn Prosch, Ph.D.
Maintaining the privacy and protection of customers’ and employees’ personal information is a risk management issue for all organizations. The increase in identity theft is also a concern for all organizations. Laws and regulations continue to place requirements on businesses for the protection of personal data. Myriad laws and regulations address privacy concerns and the collection, use, disclosure, and disposal of personally identifiable information.

6. Protecting privacy  

BY Joel Lanz, CPA/CITP and Nancy A. Cohen, CPA/CITP
Under pressure from regulatory requirements, professional standards, and client expectations—not to mention increasingly sophisticated hackers—CPA firms are emphasizing efforts to protect the privacy of confidential information under their purview. The following steps can help firms mitigate the risk of a reputation-damaging data breach: Identify and classify the types of information the firm maintains.

7. Managing cybersecurity risks   CPEDirect

BY Jeff Drew
CPA firms and other businesses need to keep cybersecurity top of mind as they look to cash in on opportunities created by the growth of mobile and cloud computing. “It’s all about managing risk,” accounting-technology expert David Cieslak, CPA/CITP, CGMA, told a packed audience during his annual Security Update session at the AICPA Practitioners Symposium and TECH+ Conference (PS/Tech), held in June in Las Vegas.

8. Key threat  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: My colleague says keylogging malware represents a significant security threat. Do you agree, and, if so, how can we minimize this type of threat? A: I agree with your colleague. Keylogging spyware can be a serious security threat that is difficult to combat and often goes undetected by popular anti-virus programs.

9. InPrivate browsing  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: I prefer to browse the internet using Internet Explorer’s InPrivate Browsing mode to better protect my computer, but I find it time-consuming to constantly switch to this mode. Is there a way to make InPrivate Browsing my default setting? A: As you mentioned, Microsoft Internet Explorer offers InPrivate Browsing, which better protects your privacy by preventing your computer from saving browsing history, temporary internet files, form data, cookies, usernames, and passwords.

10. CPAs prioritize security, unsure how to best leverage new technologies   WebExclusive

BY Jeff Drew
CPAs are confident that their organizations can secure their IT networks and manage data, but they doubt whether their employers will be able to generate revenue streams and other benefits from emerging technologies such as cloud computing and mobile devices, the AICPA reported Wednesday in releasing the results of its 2012 Top Technology Initiatives Survey.
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