Taxpayers Provided Holiday Season Cybersecurity Shopping Tips (IR-2018-238)

In honor of “National Tax Security Awareness Week,” which runs from December 3 to December 7, the IRS and Security Summit partners urge taxpayers to take steps to protect their data. While taxpayers are shopping for holiday gifts, identity thieves are “shopping” for tax and financial data they can sell on the dark web or use to create fraudulent tax returns. Keeping important personal data, such as credit card and social security numbers is essential to financial health.

Cubersecurity Shopping Tips

Taxpayers are advised to take the following measures while shopping online for gifts during the holiday season:

(1) avoid unprotected Wi-Fi;

(2) shop at familiar online retailers;

(3) recognize and avoid phishing emails that pose as a trusted source;

(4) keep a clean machine;

(5) use strong passwords;

(6) use multi-factor authentication; and

(7) encrypt and password-protect sensitive data.

In addition, the Service suggests taxpayers visit the “Taxes. Security. Together.” awareness campaign or review Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers. Finally, tax professionals are advised to get more information through the Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign as well as the Tax Security 101 series.