How to Protect Yourself from Tax Season Hackers

It's still tax season and hackers are still waiting to steal your information.

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 11:48 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 11:50 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's still tax season and hackers are still waiting to steal your information.

Educating people about cyber security is Dave Cooksey's passion but that hasn't kept hackers away from his family.

"My son quite frankly just recently had his account hacked and his account was drained because someone actually got access to his debit card," Cooksey said.

Cooksey's son may not be alone as more options to file taxes online become available.

"You get into habits when you do things and quite frankly hackers are banking on the fact that you'll do that," Cookey said.

After last year's Equifax security breach left millions of people's information unprotected tax season could be a gold mine for hackers.

"One of the scams that's happening with the IRS particularly is people are using the information they've stolen and filing fraudulent tax returns and filing on your behalf using your information," Cooksey said.

If you go to a preparer to file your taxes you still need to check their legitimacy to avoid a scam.

"File as soon as possible and as accurately as possible," Truman Hardy, CPA said. "A PTIN number which means they're registered with the IRS and when that numbers on a tax return they know it's coming from an authoritative source."

Even after securing your information with unique passwords and fire walls, Cooksey still believes you should prepare for the worst.

"Identity theft insurance is almost a given that you're going need to have just like your auto insurance going forward because it's not a matter if you're going to get hacked or your identity is going to get compromised, it's when," Cooksey said.

Cooksey adds that if you choose to use online software to do taxes use a phase for a password because it is harder for hackers to guess.

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