My chronicle of how the IRS and Tax Court affect taxpayers' daily lives.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

James C. Bourke, CPA wrote today on the importance of passwords of portable electronics.  In today's world, where Blackberry and iPhones contain confidential client information, it is important to utilize appropriate built-in encryption and password capabilities.

He recommends:
Securing portable devices combines many different techniques. For example, you probably have one or more passwords that need to be entered before accessing data. Be smart and keep these in mind when using and creating passwords:

The Obvious — Create a strong password that you can easily remember and protect it from prying eyes.

Length and Complexity — Use at least 14 characters. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often.

Avoid — Dictionary words in any language; words spelled backwards, common misspellings and abbreviations; sequences or repeated characters; using personal information.

Test Your Password — Try Microsoft offers some good guidance on creating strong passwords.
I carry my Blackberry wherever I go, and I do have a password requirement.  I have to enter it dozens of times a day to get at my information, however that is a minor inconvenience compared to protecting my client information.

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Aaron Blau, E.A. is the Vice President of the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the National Association of Enrolled Agents. The opinions and ideas expressed here are in no way representative of the official position of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents or the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents.

For official comments, please e-mail NAEA Director of Communications at or Arizona Society president

"To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that, to the extent this communication (or any attachment) addresses any tax matter, it was not written to be (and may not be) relied upon to (i) avoid tax-related penalties imposed under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (or in any such attachment). In addition, nothing herein is intended to convey an expression of an opinion as to the likelihood a tax position would ultimately prevail if challenged by the IRS. This communication is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed; no one else should rely on the tax advice provided herein. The person to whom this advice is addressed is under no obligation to keep the advice or matters related to the advice confidential."