It’s Tax Season! Protect your personal information.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Three words that many people don’t like to hear, let alone talk about. We all have to pay our taxes and we all have to provide certain private information to them, or we could be at risk for fines or other long-term issues.

But if you think about it, the IRS contains a database with 300 million social security numbers. Let’s think about the safety issue that could pose a potential problem with that. They collect, process, and store large amounts of personal information in their system. It’s a gateway for online criminals and identity thieves.

How to minimize your risk and protect your personal information and tax data:

  1. You don’t absolutely have to do everything online. Consider requesting information through traditional mail. It might take longer, but could also be safer.
  2. Voluntarily ask the IRS for an Identity Protection Pin Number (IP PIN). This number helps prevent your SSN from being used on fraudulent federal income tax returns.
  3. Review your credit report at least once a year. And check for any unauthorized activity or errors. Credit bureaus make mistakes all the time, so if you find an error, contact them and they will work with you to get it fixed.
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