Tis the season… for taxes! As we all fulfill our civic duties, let’s remember how important it is to keep our financial data out of the hands of identity thieves.
Here are five simple tips to ensure your data is safe when you file online:
- Use passwords – if you store sensitive documents on your computer, it’s a good idea to password protect them. (You can do this with Word, Excel, and PDF documents.)
- Check your statements – banking, insurance, and social security income statements all contain sensitive data. Watch for any changes or false information and review your credit reports at least once a year.
- Use email cautiously – sensitive data (such as social security numbers, financial account numbers, credit and debit card numbers, passwords for financial accounts, personal health related data) should not be sent through email unless password protected.
- Create strong passwords –long passwords are more secure and, if you use a passphrase, easier to remember. Do not reuse the same password for multiple accounts. Today, the IRS has new stronger standards for tax software products.
- Protect your credit – If you are a victim of identity theft, contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit account.
Stay safe online and happy filing!
Additional Taxpayer resources from the IRS:
The IRS, states, and tax industry are partnering to tackle tax identity theft. As part of the partnership, a campaign has been launched to better inform users about the need to protect your personal, tax, and financial data online and at home.