Tax season is a cybercriminal’s favorite time of the year. With a 60 percent increase in phishing email schemes targeting tax refunds in 2018, now is the time to be vigilant in protecting yourself from identity theft.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has provided some ‘Take Action Tips’ for tax season.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Criminals can get access to your personal information by tricking you into downloading attachments or clicking on links in email. If an email seems suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete.
- Lock down your login: Thwart thieves by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, often called multi-factor or two-factor authentication. Most major email and online tax preparing services have this tool available.
- Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Public wireless networks are not secure. If you are filing your taxes online make sure you are doing it on a secure and personal network.
- Think before you act: Be leery of communications that implore you to act immediately – especially if you are told you owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly.
- Ask if your tax preparation service has checked for malware issues and if your tax preparer’s business is cybersecure. Businesses of all sizes are susceptible to cyber thieves so it is critical they have a strong cybersecurity posture by following these NCSA-recommended steps.
You can also print the tax season safety poster and post in your office.