There is no other time of our lives that we give away so much information at once, than tax season. Not only are we sharing our information, but often our spouse’s and kids’ info is going on those documents. It scares me.
Here are a few rules I follow to protect my family’s information during the tax season:
Keep the computer clean. If I’m at all worried about an email or attachment I don’t open it. I don’t go to questionable websites or play online games. I also use malware and virus scan protection software on my PC’s to scan regularly for malicious hacks that could be accessing my information. Identity Guard warns that our computers are one of the most vulnerable points of access. Check out their article on How Identity Theft Happens and you’ll see what I mean!
Prepare the taxes myself. Yes, I know some people feel overwhelmed by tax prep, but I’ve been doing my own for years. I’m ok with that. The thing I like best about doing it myself is knowing I’m not handing my info to someone else. CPA’s are usually safe, but the journey to and from? Sending things back and forth in the mail? Not for me. Still, I think using a certified accountant would be the way to go if you need help. Not a friend, or friend of a friend… While well-meaning, these people have not been trained to handle sensitive information. If they mess up on your form are they shredding the documents or just tossing in the trash? How safe is their computer? These are things you just don’t know and you can’t afford to take that risk.
Use a PO Box. I prefer to keep my business and tax documents behind a little locked door until I’m ready to open it. Somehow my mailbox out on the street doesn’t seem like a safe place.
Take the documents directly to the post office, or file electronically so my documents aren’t floating around town on a mail truck.
Maybe I’m a bit paranoid? I think not. Tax-Time Identity Theft is a big deal.
Today’s digital and mobile connecting has opened a scary number of ‘ins’ for thieves to access your credit and other personal information. Because of this, it’s a good idea to use a service like Identity Guard to monitor how your information is being used, and to flag any suspicious behavior.
Identity Guard® alerts you to certain kinds of activity involving your personal information. And guess what? It’s not just for adults! Did you know that by graduation, 1 in 10 kids will have their identity stolen? Identity Guard now offers its latest innovation — kID Sure℠, a comprehensive child ID theft protection — to help families stay better protected.
Ready to do your identity a favor? Sign up for Identity Guard. They’ll monitor your information and provide you with all the details you need to know about identity theft and how to help yourself stay safe from it. You can start by downloading one of their three FREE e-books right now!
This service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.