Meta Description: What can we all do to protect our identity during the tax season? Here are some timeless tips you should consider.
As you prepare to file your taxes, your “cybersecurity footprint” is likely to increase. Meaning, scammers and their calls will increase, while inadequate cybersecurity of your tax preparers may expose your information to theft. What can you do about these risks?
- Protect your personal information at all costs. Don’t give away your social security number or other Personally Identifiable Information to doctors and other consultants without verifying their privacy practices. Safely discard and destroy documents containing your personal information.
- Avoid phishing scams. The easiest way for criminals to steal sensitive data is simply to ask for it. Learn to recognize phishing emails, calls or texts that pose as familiar organizations such as banks, credit card companies or even government authorities. Keep sensitive data safe and: be aware that an unsolicited email with a request to download an attachment or click on a URL could appear to come from someone that you know like a friend, work colleague or tax professional if their email has been spoofed or compromised.
- Don’t assume internet advertisements, pop-up ads or emails are from reputable companies. If an ad or offer looks too good to be true, take a moment to check out the company behind it.
- Never download “security” software from a pop-up ad. A pervasive ploy is a pop-up ad that indicates it has detected a virus on the computer. The download most likely will install some type of malware. Reputable security software companies do not advertise in this manner.
- 3) Tightening up home cybersecurity. Have unique, long and complex passwords for every account you can access, including cable modems and routers. Enable multi-factor authentication as needed.
- 4) Backup-up files. Your important files should be backed up in an external system, that’s not easy to access from your computer. In case your computer is taken over by ransomware, your backup might be exposed if it’s easily accessible from your computer.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. And if you use any, consider adding a VPN to encrypt and protect all information.
- Get identity protection from a reputed company. Enfortra provides “backend” and operations for white-label identity protection services. Our partners leverage our platform to offer consumers robust identity theft protection services.