Cybercriminals never take a day off, especially during tax season. Here are five steps you can take to protect your personal information.
As we’ll see, there are many technical precautions you can take to safeguard your information. However, it’s equally important to maintain a cautious mindset. Be extremely careful when you provide even a single piece of personal information, be it online or in person. Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and even utility account numbers can be used by cybercriminals to impersonate you.
Use Strong Passwords
Strong passwords go a long way toward protecting your personal information. These are some guidelines to help you create safe passwords:
- Use at least 10 characters, but remember that 12 is the ideal alternative.
- Use letters, numbers, and special characters.
- Avoid using the same password for different accounts.
- Keep your passwords in a safe place or use password management software.
- Use multi-factor authentication with any website that offers this feature.
Beware of Phishing Scams
In short, phishing consists in impersonating a reputable institution, such as a bank or the IRS, to lure you into providing your personal information, usually by email.
Scammers can be very cunning, so err on the side of caution when dealing with suspect emails. Don’t reply to e-mails you believe constitute a phishing attempt. Also, don’t download any attachments, and don’t click on any links. You can report phishing attempts to the Federal Trade Commission. If the email is related to taxes, the IRS, or taxes, you can report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use Security Software
An anti-virus program helps protect your computer from online threats such as viruses, trojans, and spyware. Install this type of software on your computer and set it to update itself automatically. If other people with less online experience (for example, children, or seniors) also use your computer, explain to them how to use the software and how to protect themselves when they use the internet.
Back Up Your Files
Make multiple copies of any important files and store them in different locations (for example, on your computer and on removable hard drives as well). Create paper copies of those documents as well and store them in a secure place.
Contact the Tax Experts at Delgado’s Insurance
If you are looking for assistance with your 2020 tax return, contact our experts at Delgado’s Insurance. Our mission is to help you make sense of your options to reduce your liability and maximize your deductions while staying compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
We have locations in Riverside, California, and Bloomington, California. Contact us today by telephone (951-361-0084, 909-421-9003), email (email@example.com), or through our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter) to get a free quote and learn more about our wide array of services.