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Best cybersecurity tips from the IRS

Posted on November 2, 2023

With the end of the year and holidays approaching, the IRS and the staff at Teipen CPA Group are providing some timely reminders about online safety and identity theft.

Without effective online precautions, thieves can potentially steal personal and tax information. Whether you are shopping for the holidays online or browsing various social media sites, here is how you can keep your personal information safe from those trying to take advantage of you.

8 important online safety tips:

  • Use strong passwords. They should be difficult to guess, and changed frequently.
  • Protect your personal information. Refrain from revealing birthdates, addresses, age, and financial information, such as bank accounts and Social Security numbers.
  • Use security software. Such as anti-virus and firewall protections.
  • Update computer and phone software. Enable automatic updates to install critical security updates.
  • Encrypt sensitive files such as tax records stored on computers.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) and use it for extra security on online accounts.
  • Recognize scams and report phishing. The IRS does not use unsolicited email or social media to discuss tax issues, tax refunds, payments, or tax bills.
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network) when connecting to public WiFi. Criminals can intercept personal information on insecure public Wi-Fi networks.

Teipen CPA Group strongly recommends taking precautions – especially during the holidays  — even when you are not online. Keep track of purchases and receipts, and check your bank accounts for possible security breaches or purchases not made by you. It’s much better to be cautious than trying to repair a breach of personal identity, credit cards, or an account hack.