Myth #1: Supporting documents such as PDFs used in the
creation of your tax returns are safe on your computer.
Truth: By default PDFs are not secured and hackers may
attempt to access your computer in various ways via viruses,
Trojans and botnets.
— Password-protect all tax returns that you print to PDF
from your tax software so Social Security Numbers are
secure. Use a digital shredder to permanently delete
unsecured documents on your computer that contain personal
information used to prepare your tax return.
— Install the latest updates to your operating system to
prevent known Windows or Mac vulnerabilities from being
exploited by hackers.
— Don’t save your password in your web browser when
accessing payroll services, employers, banks and other
institutions that keep your personal information.
Myth #2: It’s safe to electronically transmit confidential
data to an accountant, employer, or the IRS.
Truth: Your personal information is at great risk when it is
en route from one location to another. Hackers and identity
thieves have the ability to eavesdrop or spy on it when it
— Encrypt supporting tax documents you plan to email to
your accountant to prevent anyone from snooping on your
network and gaining access to your financial information.
— Create strong passwords when registering to download your
IRS W2 forms, 1099s, and other personal tax documents from
your employer so they are not easily guessed by strangers.
Myth #3: Paper copies of your tax documentation are always
safe since they are not accessible to electronic hackers.
Truth: Identity thieves are incredibly creative and will
attempt to access your confidential information for their
own personal gain however and wherever possible, especially
when you least expect it.
— When you postal mail your tax return to the IRS, send it
from a secured location, like the post office or an official
USPS collection box, and do not let it sit in the box
overnight as it could be stolen. For added security use
— If making photocopies of your financial documents, make
sure the photocopier does not store images of them in
The government takes your tax dollars on April 15th. Don’t
let thieves take your identity, too. Employ a multi-step
approach in the prevention of identity theft that includes
awareness, changes in behavior, and security tools. One
— Monitor your credit report regularly and download
Identity Finder Free Edition
for unprotected personal information.
Identity Finder software prevents identity fraud by finding
and protecting personal information. Identity Finder, LLC is
a leading niche innovator of privacy technologies. Founded
in 2001 and headquartered in New York City, the company
specializes in developing software solutions that meet
business and consumer needs. The company’s technologies have
been used by millions of people in more than fifty
Author: Andy Quayle
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