National Tax Security Awareness Week

Each day of National Tax Security Awareness Week consists of different themes that feature basic security steps that taxpayers can adopt to protect their data.

 

Those themes include the following topics:

 

Protect Personal and Financial Information:  Use strong and unique passwords for online accounts, use multifactor authentication whenever available, use security software and keep it updated, and backup computer and other files regularly.

 

Learn to Recognize Phishing Emails and Phone Scams:  Be leery of emails or phone calls that request you to click on a link or perform an action, don’t purchase gift cards to make payments or help others, and recognize that the IRS does not make phone calls with threats of jail or lawsuits.

 

Create Strong Passwords to Protect Online Accounts:  Use a long passphrase combined with numbers and characters, use an encrypted password manager, and use multifactor authentication.

 

Recognize Clues to Identity Theft:  An e-filed return or extension is rejected because a duplicate return is on file, receiving an unexpected tax transcript, or failing to receive expected correspondence from the IRS.

 

In addition, the IRS has updated Publication 4524 Security Awareness for Taxpayers.  This Publication includes additional basic security steps that taxpayers can implement to protect their personal information.  Additional steps the IRS recommends include checking your credit report annually, checking your bank and credit card statements, and reviewing your Social Security Administration records annually.

 

There are many other resources available on the IRS website to provide additional information and tips to secure your personal information. Hacking, cybersecurity, and data breaches can be intimidating topics for even the most seasoned professional.  But taking a few proactive steps to secure your personal information, protect your passwords, and protect your computer and mobile device can go a long way toward ensuring that your data is secure.

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