Count this Tax Season Your Safest Yet
It’s Tax Season! In other words, it’s “Christmas for cyber criminals.” If you’re one of the 120 million people expected to file taxes online this year, you should think less about what you’re going to do with any returned funds, and more about the possibility being the victim of a cyber crime. According to an audit released by an internet security non-profit called the Online Trust Alliance, a shocking 46% of tax software websites failed to meet federal cyber security standards. A failure in these standards could lead to effortless phishing attacks by criminals to acquire your most sensitive information and to even steal your identity. Criminals could also produce fake tax-filing ads, which once clicked on, would download malware onto the user’s computer. In many cases, cyber criminals used the provided contact information to call the tax filer, pretending to be the IRS and tricking him or her into sending them money, or revealing even more sensitive information. But fear not! There ways to avoid becoming another victim of online fraud and cyber crime. According to CNBC, the following are ways to protect yourself when filing taxes online:
- Look for clues that the website you are using is encrypted. Most browsers display either green in the browser bar, or a closed lock symbol, that shows users the site is secure.
- File your taxes as soon as possible. This decreases the ability of cyber criminals to file in your name.
- Be wary of any emails, text messages or phone calls from the IRS. Even though cybercriminals can spoof, or make the email address or phone number seem like it's the government, the IRS will not call or email you. Instead, they use traditional mail.
Stay safe this Tax Season! To join in our efforts to protect you and your business against the threat of a cyber attack, get connected with Taino Consulting Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.