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Financial Education 101



STAY SAFE DURING TAX TIME

Cybercriminals are always active during tax time, but the IRS expects to face additional challenges this year as scammers seek to exploit COVID-19 fears.


To keep financial information safe, the IRS recommends the “Security Six” safety measures. When you are working with your tax preparer this season, be sure to ask them about what basic protections they have in place to prevent crime. These six basic protections make a big difference in safety for taxpayers and tax professionals:

  • Use anti-virus software on all digital products, computers and mobile phones. Set it for automatic updates to keep systems secure.
  • Use firewalls to shield computers from outside attacks (these do not, however, protect systems from “insider” attacks, where users accidentally download malware).
  • Use multi-factor authentication to protect all online accounts.
  • Back up sensitive files to secure external sources such as a hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Encrypt data.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) product, especially if tax preparers are working remotely, to ensure a secure connection.

Be aware of phishing scams related to COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments. Don’t click on links you don’t trust or recognize or download attachments from senders you don’t trust. When in doubt, always go to the source first via their website or by giving them a call.

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