February 2016: Avoiding Tax Fraud

Many people now file taxes online, sending much of their personal information over the Internet. Following a few tips can help keep your information safe this tax season. 

  1. Beware of Tax Related Phishing Emails - Phishing emails are getting more sophisticated, meaning they are getting harder and harder to detect. Think twice before clicking on a link in an email or downloading an attachment, and check out our full list of tips and tricks for avoiding phishing emails.
  2. Take Care of What You Share - Be careful of what information you post on social media and make sure you check your privacy settings so that you don't give out important information. Many identity thieves my try to get the answers to common security questions such as "your mother's maiden name" from social media sites. 
  3. Use Strong Passwords - Make sure you use strong passwords that are not easy to guess on any sites that you use to do taxes. Also, make sure the password is different from the passwords you use for other accounts. If a hacker compromises one account, the hacker will be able to compromise any other site you use that has the same password.
  4. Check Your Network - Free Wi-Fi is great, but it is often not encrypted, meaning that somebody else on the same network could possibly see the information you submit on your taxes, such as your full name, address, social security number, date of birth, and more. Also, make sure that you are submitting your information to the proper website as hackers may try to create websites that look similar to the real ones, and make sure the website uses https://