Steps to help people protect their data from thieves
Taxpayers can follow a few simple to protect your personal and financial data online and at home steps. Criminals continue to steal large amounts of personal data of taxpayers and tax preparers. Thieves use this information to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other crimes to impersonate victims.
All taxpayers must follow these steps to protect themselves and their data:
Keep a secure computer
- Use security software that updates automatically. Essential tools to maintain a secure computer include firewall protection, virus and malware and file encryption for sensitive data.
- Treat personal information like cash; Do not leave it unattended.
- Provide personal information only on websites or search coded addresses with “https.”
- Use strong passwords and protect them .
Avoid phishing attacks and malware
- Do not respond to phishing emails, texts or calls that appear to be from the IRS, tax companies and other companies or family businesses. Instead, check the contact information for a company or agency directly addressing his website.
- Be wary of attachments from emails. Think twice before opening.
- Download and install software only from known and trusted websites.
- Use a pop -up blocker (pop-ups).
Protect personal information
- Not used to have with you a Social Security or other documents that show a social security number.
- Do not share personal information on social media. This includes information about previous addresses, a new car, a new house and children.
- Keep tax returns from previous years as well as their tax files under lock and key.
- Protect electronic files coding them .
- Shred tax documents before disposal.
People should also remember to be careful with those posing as the IRS. The IRS does not call anyone with threats of jail or demands. The IRS does not send unsolicited emails suggesting that someone has a refund or who need to update your account, the IRS does not request any confidential information online. Allof these are scams.
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