The IRS released some tips in February 2019 to help taxpayers protect their personal information and financial data from criminals. Check out some of the tips below.
This article was originally published by the IRS on February 21, 2019. See the full release here.
Keep your computer secure
- Use security software that updates automatically. Essential tools for keeping a secure computer include a firewall, virus and malware protection, and file encryption for sensitive data.
- Treat personal information like cash; don’t leave it lying around.
- Give personal information only over encrypted and trusted websites.
- Use strong passwords and protect them.
Watch for Phishing and Malware
- Not respond to emails, texts or calls that appear to be from the IRS, tax companies and other well-known businesses. Instead, verify contact information about companies or agencies by going directly to their website.
- Be cautious of email attachments. Think twice before opening them.
- Turn off the option to automatically download attachments.
- Download and install software only from known and trusted websites.
Protect your personal information
- Not routinely carry a Social Security card or other documents showing a Social Security number or other personal information
- Not overshare personal information on social media. This includes information about past addresses, a new car, a new home and children.
- Keep old tax returns and tax records under lock and key.
- Safeguard electronic files by encrypting and properly disposing them.
- Shred tax documents before trashing.