By: Nidaal Jubran
Be mindful of the information you are transmitting electronically. We often receive requests for a number of items surrounding AES, such as resolutions for fatal errors, tracking AES responses for shipments, initiating suppressions, etc. In doing so, some people provide their company’s sensitive information through email, particularly their company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN). This should be avoided. EIN information should never be transmitted to the Census Bureau via email. Although we require your EIN to identify your company’s profile in the AES and to service your AES needs, there are other ways for you to provide this information to us, indirectly. The best, and safest, way for you to send this information is by providing a previously accepted Internal Transaction Number (ITN) filed by your company. Your EIN is directly linked to your ITN. Once we have this information we can safely and securely identify your company’s information.
There are plenty of other business practices you can adopt to protect your EIN. I’ve listed a few of them below:
- Do not reply or forward an email message that contains an EIN in the thread history. If you must reply or forward the message, make sure that the message history is not included in your reply. You have the option to send a reply without including the full history of the email thread.
- Do not include your company’s EIN in the subject line of your email message. I do see this from time to time when I am monitoring the ASKAES mailbox, and when this happens I always remind the user that this is not a safe business practice.
- Do not submit your EIN as an attachment within a message. Although it appears to be secure, and safer than including the EIN in the body of the message itself, this type of practice should be avoided.