While refunds are exciting, this is also the time of year when the identity theft criminals are on the prowl! Help reduce your risk of being victimized this season by following these tips to protect your information:
- The IRS will never initiate communication with a tax payer through email and phone calls.
- No reputable bank or credit card company will ever request financial information from you in an email.
- Never click on links in emails from people you don’t know, and be wary of links even if you do know the sender!
- Never conduct tax or financial transactions using a public wireless connection.
- Always be sure to log out of systems when you are no longer using them. Attackers can often access account information if users fail to purposefully terminate their sessions.
- Be sure if you do your taxes online that you at using a reputable site, and also that the site is secured, indicated by a little padlock icon on the bottom of the screen.
- Especially on financial systems, ensure your passwords are long, complex, and different from those you use for other systems.
- Ensure that computers you are using to do your taxes on or access financial information on have the latest security software and updates.
- Never email sensitive information including tax forms, W2s, etc.