As we enter into the busy holiday online shopping season, tax agencies around the country encourage us to be safe with our personal information. The IRS issued a news release IR-2017-193 which outlines the following seven steps for online safety:
- Shop at familiar online retailers.
- Avoid unprotected WiFi, and do not click on links from pop-up ads.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails that pose as a trusted source such as a financial institution or the IRS.
- Keep a clean machine. This applies to all devices – computers, smartphones, tablets. Use security software to protect against malware.
- Use strong passwords!
- Use multi-factor authentication. Some sites will require a security code sent to your phone or email to allow you to log in.
- Encrypt and password-protect sensitive data. If you keep financial records or tax returns on computers, this information should be password protected.