IRS to adults and teens: Take cyber security seriously
The Internal Revenue Service is urging adults and teens to protect their money by taking their online security seriously.
In 2015, the IRS formed the Security Summit which consists of people from the software industry, tax preparation firms and other financial institutions.
The group's goal is to combat identity theft and protect taxpayers. It has identified some methods that help reduce the number of fraudulent tax returns that get into processing systems.
In a release Tuesday, the IRS encouraged people online to not reveal too much of their personal, identifiable information, like date of birth, age, address and social security number.
The IRS also stressed the benefits of using security and anti-virus software.
The agency also urges people to use trusted encryption software for files like tax records stored on hard drives. Additionally, use unique and strong passwords for logins. That can mean using capital letters, special characters and numbers.
Parents should warn their children how to spot and avoid scams. Phishing emails, threatening emails and texts from people posing as members of the IRS or other trusted agency are things to look out for.
The IRS will never reach out via text message or social media to contact someone.
Teach kids to only shop form trusted and reputable online retailers. Also, avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks or use a virtual private network when doing so.
More advice on protecting personal information online can be found on IRS social media pages and on the Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts page of the revenue service's website.
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