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Protect Your Identity During Tax Season

By Laura - Freelance Writer - Article Added ( 11/20/2009 )

Filing taxes is not only stressful, but dangerous. Because so much of your identity and personal information is necessary to complete taxes, from bank routing to social security numbers, your identity becomes extremely vulnerable during tax season.  The following tips can help you ensure that your identity and all your personal information remain safe this tax season.

Keep hard copies of your documents. It is a growing trend for many individuals to store all their important information on the computer. Technology may be more convenient, but it is not safe. Hackers can gain access to information through the Internet, and if a computer is stolen or lost, your personal records are gone forever. The best way to keep documents pertaining to taxes is to organize a binder or folder for each fiscal year that is kept locked away or in a private place.

Discard your documents with care. People often make the mistake of throwing personal documents away in the family trash bin. The best way to discard old documents is with a paper shredder. You do not want any of your personal information floating around somewhere. You never know who may find your social security number or the pin to your debit card. The best policy is to shred all discarded documents with any personal information, including name and address. That being said, make sure to only throw away what is necessary, and keep comprehensive records of your tax filings in the past. 

Be wary of Internet identity theft. The Internet has become the most popular site of identity theft. As tax season approaches, you must be extremely careful. Do not open e-mails pertaining to your taxes if you do not recognize the sender. Many times scammers will pose as representatives for the IRS or other tax service organizations. They say that they want to help you file your taxes, when really they only want to get a hold of your personal information. Filing taxes online is extremely convenient, but it poses a greater risk than paper filing. If you choose to file online, make sure that you file with a valid company. You can talk to friends or family members, as well as consult the IRS through its toll free hotline (1-800-TAXFORM). When filing, it is also important to make sure that your anti-virus and spyware software are working properly. You do not want anyone to see your information as is passes through the Internet.

Source: mbl

About The Author: Laura G



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