The time is here to file taxes and if you use the Internet to get it done there are some very important best practices for preventing identity theft this season. Cyber-criminals are especially in favor of the tax season because the documents you are required to submit contain highly sensitive information about your identity and finances, such as, your name, physical address, banking details, loan details, employee details, etc, and of course, your social security number. Don’t let any of them fall into the wrong hands! By implementing the best practices we share in this article you can make sure that your confidential details remain protected.
It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the possibility of you becoming the next victim of tax fraud. According to a CNNMoney article published a few months back, the IRS had paid $3.6 billion in fraudulent tax refunds for the previous year. We highly recommend you to read another related article in which the IRS lists several ways cyber-criminals can misuse your confidential data.
Our products are designed to offer your confidential data and identity maximum privacy security. We offer government and military grade secure removal of not only the sensitive files you don’t wish to store on your PC after the filing is done, such as, your old tax information, but all traces that may point to that sensitive data in your browser and on your hard drive. We also offer tools for government grade encryption of sensitive files you store, or send from your PC, such as, your social security number, account passwords, emails, etc.
Please implement the best practices below to prevent identity theft this season:
- Make sure that your antivirus is updated and your firewall is turned on.
- Only enter confidential information on secure sites that display a padlock icon and “https” before the site URL.
- As long as you need to use sensitive files/folders stored on your PC, lock them up in an encrypted safe using east-tec SafeBit. The software creates virtual drives (safes) and offers you on-the-fly encryption for any file/folder you place into the safe. Thanks to the on-the-fly encryption, working with encrypted files/folders is just like working with plain text data, but your confidential data is protected with government grade encryption at all times. Furthermore, virtual drives won’t appear in your drive list in Windows Explorer to offer your confidential data an extra layer of protection.
- When you are done using sensitive files, make sure that they are gone forever. Normal Windows deletion doesn’t remove your files for good, only marks them available for overwriting. This is a huge privacy issue, because deleted confidential files you thought to be gone, can be recovered from the free space of your hard drive for weeks, or months after deletion! Use east-tec Eraser to securely remove any sensitive data and all online/offline traces leading to it.
- Keep login details of your tax and financial accounts encrypted with east-tec InvisibleSecrets and manage them with the software’s built-in Password Manager for added security.
- If you need to email confidential data, encrypt its content before sending it, using the email encryption option in east-tec InvisibleSecrets.