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National Tax Security Awareness Week

The IRS has announced it and its Security Summit partners have kicked-off the 7th National Tax Security Awareness Week with information for taxpayers and tax professionals on how to avoid scams and protect sensitive personal information.

With the holiday season now in full swing, the period presents a prime opportunity for identity thieves to try stealing personal financial information, which also could be used to potentially file fraudulent tax returns. People can face risks if they're shopping online and using publicly accessible Wi-Fi. And the Summit reminds people that fictitious text scams with "smishing" schemes continue during this period. The Summit partners urged people to take extra care while shopping online or viewing emails and texts, especially during the holiday season when criminals are very active. The Security Summit reminds everyone to stay safe while holiday shopping with the following considerations:

  • Shop at sites where the web address begins with "https" – the "s" is for secure communications and look for the "padlock" icon in the browser window.
  • Don't shop on unsecured public Wi-Fi in places like a mall or coffee shop.
  • Keep security software for computers, tablets and mobile phones updated.
  • Protect the devices of family members, including young children, older adults as well as less technologically savvy users.
  • Make sure anti-virus software for computers has a feature to stop malware, and that there is a firewall enabled that can prevent intrusions.
  • Use strong and unique passwords for online accounts.
  • Use multi-factor authentication whenever possible. It helps prevent thieves from easily hacking accounts.
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