Tax season is one of the most common times for identity fraud to take place, making it even more important than ever for consumers to take the proper safety measures.
According to CyberScout, a leading data security and identity-theft protection firm, having a password-protected Wi-Fi connection, two-factor authentication for tax preparation services and an encrypted USB drive for sensitive tax documents are some of the most basic ways to protect oneself. In addition, taxpayers should use the following techniques to protect themselves:
• Always use long and strong passwords.
• Never authenticate yourself to anyone who contacts you online or by phone; the IRS will never contact you by those methods.
• Use direct deposit of refunds into your bank account or a locking mailbox for mailed refunds.
• Monitor and protect your accounts and elements of your personal identity online and in social media. It’s easy for hackers to figure out answers to security questions from social media.
“If the worst happens, victims of identity theft should turn to organizations they trust, including their insurance provider, financial services institution, or the HR department of their employer, who offer low-cost or free cyber protection services to protect and restore stolen identities,” said CyberScout Chairman Adam Levin.