The Importance of Protecting Financial Information
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warned taxpayers to be especially vigilant about protecting their personal, financial, and tax information during tax season. Failing to take precautionary steps can have devastating consequences for taxpayers who stand to have their identities stolen or lose thousands of dollars. To learn more about how to protect your own financial information, it is important to contact an experienced tax attorney who can advise you.
Protecting Personal Data
The IRS urges taxpayers to be cautious when submitting personal information online. This includes data, such as:
- Social Security numbers;
- Credit card numbers;
- Bank account numbers; and
When receiving a request for personal information, taxpayers should carefully consider the legitimacy of the website or entity requesting the information and whether it is absolutely necessary for them to have access to it. Finally, personal information should only be provided on encrypted websites.
Avoid Phishing Scams
In an effort to obtain personal information, many scammers send emails or texts, or make calls posing as a bank, a credit card company, or even the IRS. When receiving this type of communication, taxpayers are urged to refrain from opening links or attachments contained in emails from unknown entities. Furthermore, recipients should check out whether a company is legitimate by searching online for information about the company or product. Often, other people who have been scammed will include reviews or complaints to warn other unsuspecting taxpayers. Finally, users should be wary of pop-up ads advertising security software packages. When downloaded, these programs often install malware on the computer, which can allow others access to personal information contained on it.
Create Strong Passwords
Sometimes, despite a person’s best efforts, his or her password may be stolen, which can give scammers access to a wide array of personal information. To avoid this, taxpayers are encouraged to use passwords that are at least ten characters in length. Mixing letters, numbers, and special characters can also make it much more difficult for a password to be cracked. Computer users are also urged to refrain from using names, birthdates, and common words in their passwords, or from using the same password for multiple accounts. Finally, those with their own wifi connections should set encryption passwords on their wireless networks, which will block any computer within range from accessing the network and stealing information contained on connected devices.
Backing Up Your Files
Finally, taxpayers should always make sure to copy important files, including federal and state tax returns onto a back-up drive. It’s also a good idea to make both physical and electronic copies of these documents and keep them in a safe place. Also, be sure to use a file encryption program if storing tax or financial information on a personal computer. In addition to providing extra security, taking these steps can also help taxpayers prepare the next year’s returns more easily.
Call us Today to Discover How an Experienced Orlando Tax Attorney Can Help You
To learn more about protecting your tax information, please contact Ronald Cutler, P.A. in Orlando to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation with a dedicated tax attorney by calling 386-490-9949 today. We are eager to assist you with your case today.