Tax Season and Cyber Security
Doing our taxes online: the majority of Americans are doing it, which increases the number of cyber criminals ready to target unsuspecting individuals every year. However, there are ways to protect your information and lower your risk for identity theft, fraudulent tax filings, and more.
Protect yourself. You can create a pin on IRS.gov to prevent the misuse of your social security number. To get a pin, you must pass the IRS identify verification process and then create a user profile. Always password protect your electronic tax files and encrypt any information you share electronically—although you should never submit personal information through email. Avoid using public Wi-Fi and unsecured wireless networks.
Know what to look for in phishing scams. Many people get shaken up by a supposed email from the IRS, but most of these emails are scams that are aimed to make people feel panicked and click on a harmful link. Do not click any embedded links—go to IRS.gov to gather information about what is required of you. The IRS never demands payment without having first sent written notice, and they will never ask for payments over the phone. Make sure to delete any harmful or suspicious emails from your inbox.
One of the best ways to protect your data is by getting informed. Understand that as the taxpayer, you are primarily responsible for your taxes even if you received help from a tax preparer. This is why you must ensure that whichever company you go through is reliable and legitimate.
Choose a preparer who has tons of information about them online, asks specific questions, and provides you with your own signed copy of your return. Avoid tax preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund or that have no proof online of their services or expertise. Avoid submitting information through websites that don’t have HTTPS in their url, as HTTPS pages use encryption that HTTP sites do not.
Elevated Tech values cyber security and always wants to ensure the safety of all businesses and individuals. To learn more about cyber security, data recovery, and the extra mile Elevated Tech takes to protect your business, contact us today—we’ve got you covered.