According to the Internal Revenue Service, last week was National Tax Security Awareness Week. During this time, the IRS released a tip outlining 5 steps data breach victims can take to protect their financial accounts, identities, and tax returns.
People who are the victim of a data breach should consider the following steps to help protect their sensitive information that can be used on a tax return:
- Determine what information the thieves compromised. Check emails and passwords along with more sensitive data such as name and Social Security number.
- Take advantage of credit monitoring services offered by companies.
- Place a freeze on credit accounts to prevent access to credit records.
- Reset passwords on online accounts. People should use different passwords for each account, using a password manager or password app if necessary.
- Use multi-factor authentication when available. This means users may need a security code, usually sent as a text to their mobile phone, in addition to a username and password.
Everyone should use safe online data practices and consider steps to take in the event of a breach.