Cybersecurity Tips for Tax Season
While you are busy getting your paperwork ready to file your taxes, cybercriminals are hard at work on tax-related cybercrimes. Keep your personal information protected this tax season with these simple security tips.
File early to prevent others from filing with your information.
Update your computer’s anti-malware and anti-virus software.
Never file taxes or access online banking while using a public network. Always use a private connection, especially when handling sensitive, confidential business.
When filing your taxes online, use a trusted tax-filing portal with “https:” before the URL and the lock icon showing the connection is secure.
Create a strong password. The password should be long and complex, using uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not use commonly used words, phrases, or names. Change the password often. Use multifactor verification whenever available.
Do not open emails or text messages claiming to be the IRS or tax related. Do not click any links or download files. The IRS will contact you by the mail. Verify a letter’s legitimacy. Real letters arrive in a government envelope with the IRS seal and have a notice or letter number at the top right corner. Letters include the IRS’s contact information and will never ask you to write a check to any party but the U.S. Treasury. It will not ask you to give credit or debit card information and the IRS never asks you to pay using another method such as gift cards. When in doubt, call the IRS to verify.