Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/23/2009
04:40 AM
50%
50%

10 After-Tax-Filing Security Tips

Filing your taxes isn't the end of the story. You've also got to be sure that you the electronic information you submit doesn't fall prey to identity theft. Think it can't happen to you? Tell that to the 10 million Americans who had their identity stolen last year.

Filing your taxes isn't the end of the story. You've also got to be sure that you the electronic information you submit doesn't fall prey to identity theft. Think it can't happen to you? Tell that to the 10 million Americans who had their identity stolen last year.Identity thieves seek a combination of personal information to do their damage to your credit rating, which for a small business owner could damage not just personal finances, but also business solvency. Unfortunately, electronic tax documents are rich hunting grounds for identity thieves according to Todd Feinman, the CEO of Identity Finder, a security and privacy software vendor. "Stored tax documents are a gold mine for hackers because a tax return contains at least one person's social security number and a tremendous amount of other relevant, personal information," he says. "Once thieves get an SSN, they can potentially wreak havoc on a victim's credit."

Because they contain such sensitive data, it's crucial to take extra measures to keep your electronic tax information safe. Feinman suggests these 10 steps:

  1. When storing a copy of your tax return on your computer, make sure you secure it with a password so that your SSN cannot be read if the file is lost.
  2. Securely delete all electronic, financial documents used to prepare your tax returns so any personal information is safe.
  3. Ignore all refund/rebate/warning e-mails claiming to come from the IRS and never click on links within those e-mails because it is most likely a phishing attack.
  4. Do not provide personal information to anyone calling you claiming to be from the IRS; the IRS already has your information and it's likely to be an identity thief calling you.
  5. Check your credit report with one of the three credit bureaus free every four months at www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure your identity hasn't already been stolen.
  6. Install the latest updates to your operating system so known Windows or Mac vulnerabilities can't be exploited by hackers.
  7. Don't save your password in your Web browser when accessing banks and other institutions that keep your personal information because it could be leaked if you ever get a virus, Trojan, or are hacked.
  8. If you provided your bank account and routing information to the IRS for payment or refunds, check your bank accounts to ensure the proper transfer occurred.
  9. Visit your bank account online and set up alerts on your accounts to monitor when high amounts of cash are withdrawn.
  10. Make sure you do not receive incorrect payment liability or refund information; a thief could have filed a tax return on your behalf fraudulently. If you suspect tax preparation fraud, call the State Tax Department toll-free at 1-888-675-9437.

bMighty bSecure is a virtual event designed to help your company stay secure in the most cost-effective way possible. bMighty and InformationWeek editors will bring together SMB security consultants, analysts, and other experts, along with real IT execs and users from small and midsize companies to share the secrets of keeping your company secure without breaking the bank.
REGISTER NOW!

Don't Miss:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.