Privacy & Security
Mickele Nowden CPA (“Site”, “we”, “our” or “us”) cares deeply about the privacy of its visitors and is fully committed to protect their personal information and use it properly in compliance with data privacy laws. This policy describes how we may collect and use personal information, and the rights and choices available to our visitors and users regarding such information.
How We Collect and Use Information
We collect the following types of information about you:
Information we collect:
We collect nonpublic personal information about you that is provided by you or obtained by us with your authorization. This information may come from various sources, including information we receive directly from you, from personal interviews, tax organizers, worksheets, and other documents necessary to provide professional services to you. We may also retain any messages you send through our Site, secure portal, and e-mail. We use this information to respond to you.
We may directly collect analytics data, or use third-party analytics tools and services, to help us measure traffic and usage trends for the Site. These tools collect information sent by your browser or mobile device, including the pages you visit and other information that assists us in improving the Site. We collect and use this analytics information in aggregate form such that it cannot reasonably be manipulated to identify any particular individual user.
When you visit the Site, we may send one or more cookies — a small text file containing a string of alphanumeric characters — to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser and lets Us help you access the Site securely. A cookie may also convey information to us about how you use the Site (e.g., the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on the Site), and allow us or our business partners to track your usage of the Site over time. A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive after you close your browser. Persistent cookies may be used by your browser on subsequent visits to the site. Persistent cookies can be removed by following your web browser’s directions. A session cookie is temporary and disappears after you close your browser. You can reset your web browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some features of the Site may not function properly if the ability to accept cookies is disabled.
If you want to delete or block any cookies, please refer to the help and support area on your internet browser for instructions on how to locate the file or directory that stores cookies. Information on deleting or controlling cookies is also available at www.aboutcookie.org (note that this website is not provided by the Site, and we therefore cannot ensure its accuracy, completeness or availability).
Clear gifs/web beacons information:
We and certain Third Party Services may employ a software technology called “clear gifs” (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), which enables them and us to improve our Services by measuring their effectiveness and performance. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, however are not stored on your device, but instead embedded within our Services.
Commercial and marketing communications:
We use the information we collect or receive, such as your email address, to communicate directly with you.
How We Use Your Information
We use your personal and financial information for the following purposes:
To provide tax preparation and accounting services
To communicate with you about your account and our services
To comply with legal and regulatory requirements
To prevent fraud and protect the security of our systems
We will not rent or sell your information to third parties without your consent, except as noted below:
Who can see your IP address: Any third party service embedded on the Site such as an advertiser, video provider, social network or other third party will also have access to your IP address.
Who can see your email address: If you enter an email address, you will enable communication from the Site.
Instances where we are required to share your information:
Instances where we may disclose your information:
We may disclose your confidential information to specific individuals or entities which include:
The taxpayer's spouse, if they filed a joint tax return.
The taxpayer's dependent, if the tax return includes their information.
Any individual or entity designated by the taxpayer in writing.
Any individual or entity authorized by law to receive such information, such as a court or government agency.
Sharing certain service type information we collect about you:
We may share certain service type information, including information obtained through tools such as cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data and clear gifs (such as anonymous usage data, referring/exit pages and URLs, platform types, number of clicks, etc.): (i) with our third-party business partners for the purposes described in the section above on “How We Collect and Use Information.” We may also aggregate or otherwise strip data of all personally identifying characteristics and may share that aggregated, anonymized data with third parties.
How We Store and Protect Your Information
Storage and Processing:
Keeping your information safe:
We offer HTTPS secure access to most areas on our Site (provided by Wix.com and TaxDome.com); the transmission of sensitive payment information (such as a credit card number) through designated purchase forms is protected by an industry standard SSL/TLS encrypted connection; and we regularly maintain a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) certification. Our payment processors also regularly monitor their systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks, and regularly seek new ways and Third Party Services for further enhancing security.
Regardless of the measures and efforts taken by Wix.com, they or the Site cannot and do not guarantee the absolute protection and security of your Personal Information. Your privacy settings may also be affected by changes to the functionality of third party sites and services that you add to the Site, such as social networks. We are not responsible for the functionality or security measures of any third party.
Compromise of information:
In the event that any information under our control is compromised as a result of a breach of security, we will take reasonable steps to investigate the situation and, where appropriate, notify those individuals whose information may have been compromised and take other steps in accordance with any applicable laws and regulations.
Your Rights Choices about Your Information
Opting out of the collection of your information for Tracking / Advertising:
Please refer to your mobile device or browser’s technical information for instructions on how to delete and disable cookies and other tracking/recording tools. Depending on your type of device, it may not be possible to delete or disable tracking mechanisms on your mobile device. Note that disabling cookies and/or other tracking tools prevents the Site or its business partners from tracking your browser’s activities in relation to the Site and for use in targeted advertising activities by third parties. However, doing so may disable many of the features available on the Site.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
If you are a California resident, you have the following rights under the CCPA:
The right to request access to the personal information we have collected about you
The right to request deletion of your personal information, subject to certain exceptions
The right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information
The right to non-discrimination for exercising your CCPA rights
To exercise your CCPA rights, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Data Standards Authority
If you are a client under the jurisdiction of the UK Data Standards Authority, you have the following rights:
The right to access your personal information
The right to rectify inaccurate or incomplete information
The right to request erasure of your personal information
The right to restrict the processing of your personal information
The right to data portability
The right to object to the processing of your personal information
To exercise your rights under the UK Data Standards Authority, please contact us at email@example.com
The Site does not knowingly collect or solicit any information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register as Users. The Site and its content are not directed at children under the age of 13. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links to Other Websites and Services
General communication security standards
You set the general communication security standards based on the choices you make, as explained in the first paragraph on “Communications” in our engagement agreement.
Custody of funds
We do not take physical possession of client funds, nor do we have custody of client financial accounts while acting in the role of accountant or adviser. That means that I do not have any authority to sign checks or make withdrawals. In some cases, I can authorize electronic payments under pre-negotiated written accounting services arrangements.
We prefer not to take physical possession of original documents or physical documents that contain personal information. A PDF file or clear cell phone photo is almost always a better option. If I do take possession of a paper document, I will issue a receipt, and arrangements for its handling and return are made in writing on an individual case-by-case basis. Private client data, passwords, and account access details for client files are not stored on any of my local physical devices so that the loss of a cell phone or computer, for example, does not pose a security threat.
Transfer of Private Data through a secure portal
Online document transfer and storage are handled by TaxDome. Clients’ files are protected by tough industry-standard security measures based on a secure 256-bit SSL encryption. At all times, clients can view and access only their own documents. We also endorse the use of secure messaging and encrypted email as needed. Please view TaxDome's security policy.
Other electronic data handled by Adobe, CFS, Drake, Google, and Microsoft
PDF document scanning and security are provided by Adobe Document Cloud. Security for most of my work and client information is provided by Microsoft’s cloud-based storage platform incorporated into Microsoft Office 365. In other words, I am as secure (no more and no less) as any of the many similar professional businesses that operate on a Microsoft Office 365 platform. Microsoft publishes much more information about security on its website. Email is handled through Google services. Tax processing data used by CFS Software and Drake Software is held on a single secure PC device.
We use a reputable VPN for internet connections on all devices.