It’s always important to protect your Social Security number (SSN), but it’s extra important to do so around tax time. The tax forms you receive (job, banks) and your tax returns will all have it on them, but you can take some steps to protect your SSN and safeguard yourself against identity theft.
Watch Your Postal Mail
Pay attention to your mail for your tax forms (W-2, 1099). Since they contain your SSN, a missing form could mean you’re at risk of identity theft.
Make sure that your anti-virus protection is up to date and scan your computer. It’s also a good idea to have a firewall installed.
Walk-In Tax Preparation Service
It’s important to check out the office to see how well your privacy and personal information will be protected. Will your conversations be easily overheard? Are computer monitors visible to others? Are discarded documents properly shredded?
Professional Tax Services
Mail your tax return from a secure location before the last scheduled pickup time, if possible (don’t leave it in a collection box overnight).
Look Out for Scams
If you get an email saying that it’s from the IRS, it’s most likely a scam (they don’t start communications through email) and you shouldn’t reply or open any links in the message.