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One Step Ahead
March 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 24

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Smart Steps When Accessing Your W-2 Online

The U@Penn Portal, reached by clicking the Faculty & Staff link on the main Penn home page, offers easy access to your W-2 tax statements from 2005 to 2008 through “My Tax Info.” All University employees should have received a copy of their tax statements via US mail, and accessing your statements online is strictly optional, but if you want to review your statement or need additional copies they are available for your convenience. Tax statements contain sensitive information, including Social Security numbers and compensation figures.  Avoid accessing them from public workstations or shared computers.

When you’re finished working with your statements, make sure to log out of U@Penn and quit your web browser. It is also important to take both of the steps outlined below to completely remove the information from your computer. Your computer may have retained a version of any tax statement you view, even if you did not actively download it.

• First, use your system’s drive-searching utility (e.g. Windows Explorer on Windows, Spotlight or Find on Mac) to search for files with the “.pdf” extension and containing the statement year (e.g. 2008) in the file name and then delete them.

• Second, please clear your web browser’s cache. When using Firefox, choose “Clear Private Data” from the Tools menu. Ensure the “cache” checkbox is selected and click the “Clear Private Data Now” button. For IE 7, choose “Delete Browsing History” from the Tools menu. Click on “Delete Files” from the Temporary Internet Files section. For Safari for Mac, choose “Empty Cache” from the Safari menu, then click “Empty.”


To receive weekly OneStepAhead  tips via email, send email to listserv@lists.upenn.edu with the following text in the body of the message:  sub one-step-ahead <your name>.

For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/.

Almanac - March 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 24