Tax season raises questions of another security breach

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - With the start of a new tax season comes question of a possible computer breach.

"You know, a lot of times tax preparers will submit your filing electronically," said Carri Grube Lybarker, administrator for the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs. "We had people call and ask, how can we be affected by this security breach."

Some taxpayers question whether filing on paper is safer than filing online.

Jessica Horton is a CPA/Tax manager for Johnson and Lanning, CPAs. She advises using a certified public accountant.

"We are a business and we have security measures to keep all of our clients' information confidential and safe from hackers as much as we possibly can," she said.

If you prefer to file on your personal computer, Grube Lybarker says you must protect yourself.

" Make sure you are using up to date anti-virus software and firewall," Lybarker said.

Whether you decide to file on paper or computer, Horton says there is no definite way to protect your information from being hacked.

"I wouldn't say anything is 100 percent secure," Horton said. "It's just a different method of security breach versus an Internet hacker versus mail fraud or just human error when entering your information.

Still, Grube Lybarker reassures taxpayers.

"The information that was breached from the Department of Revenue was old information that was on storage, was in servers that were no longer active," said Grube Lybarker. {}"It didn't have anything to do the submission of electronic tax filing."

For questions, contact the SCDCA on the web or by calling 1-800-922-1594.