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Tax Time is a Good Time to be Vigilant Online

by Employee on ‎03-22-2012 03:50 PM

michael kaiser 1.jpgMichael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, shares some tips about online privacy as part of the international observance of Data Privacy Day on Saturday, Jan. 28.  Michael joined NCSA in 2008 and prior to that spent 25 years in the field of victim's services at the National Center for Victims of Crime and other organizations.

 

There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and tax scams.

 

As the calendar approaches April 15 each year, the number of IRS-related scams seems to grow.

Tax season is a good time to be aware of potential phishing scams and other attempts to steal personal or financial information.

 

Phishing attacks use email or malicious Web sites to collect personal and financial information. Attackers may send urgent emails that request account information, seemingly from a reputable credit cardtax time 2.jpg company or financial institution or government agency. When users respond with the requested information, attackers can use it to gain access to the accounts.

 

It’s important to note that the IRS does not use email or social media to request personal or financial information.

If you get an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, you can forward the email to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS website has more information about phishing scams.

 

Here are some other ways to avoid getting scammed this tax season:

 

    • Keep a Clean Machine -- Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
    • When in doubt, throw it out -- Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
    • tax time 3.jpgOwn your Online Presence -- When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit who you share information with.
    • Think Before you Act -- Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
    • Help the Authorities Fight Cyber Crime -- Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) and to your local law enforcement or state attorney general as appropriate.

You can get more tips and advice in the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. section of our website. (http://www.staysafeonline.org/tools-resources/stop-think-connect)

Comments
by Cyruis on ‎03-26-2012 07:48 AM - last edited on ‎03-26-2012 08:43 AM by Moderator

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

 

by on ‎03-26-2012 09:32 PM

Good blog!

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Bob Elek

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

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