The IRS, states, and the tax industry at large have partnered together in the Security Summit initiative to launch a new initiative that’s aimed at helping taxpayers protect sensitive information from cyber thieves. This comes at an important time of year, not only because of the sharp rise in online shopping this month, but because of the oncoming tax season, which will lead to a rise in tax scams. Here’s what you need to know about this initiative and how you can participate.
Follow the IRS’s Tax Security Profile on Twitter
In an effort to share the latest scam and security alerts throughout the coming tax season, the IRS is launching a special Twitter handle. If you have a Twitter account, we strongly recommend that you follow @IRSTaxSecurity so that you can stay apprised of any new tax scams and potential threats to your data. Individuals can also share security information (such as sharing any tax scam emails or messages you may receive) using the #TaxSecurity hashtag.
Public Webinar on Identity Thieves and the Dark Web
If you become a victim of identity theft, how do those thieves use the information they steal from you? Contrary to what you may believe, it’s not common for the people stealing your data to actually use it themselves. Instead, they sell those stolen identities, credit card data, tax information, and other financial information on the Dark Web.
Representatives from the IRS Criminal Investigation unit will be hosting a free public webinar on how thieves use the Dark Web to sell your stolen information. They will also provide an overview of how to recognize risks to your data’s security. The webinar will be approximately 100 minutes long, and will be held on Monday, December 3rd, at 2:00 pm EST. You must register for the webinar, which you can do here.
Addressing Key Issues Throughout the Week
Each day of National Tax Security Awareness Week will be focused on a different key issue that poses a threat to taxpayers. Tips for protecting yourself (and your business) will be provided through the IRS’s Twitter handle mentioned above. The campaign will provide advice that taxpayers can use to protect themselves, and raise awareness of tactics most commonly used by identity thieves at this time of year. There will also be a strong emphasis on threats to businesses and tax professionals, who are becoming more common targets.
Various partners of the Security Summit initiative will be hosting more than 20 events in 19 different states during the week in an effort to raise cybersecurity awareness. However, the IRS has emphasized that it needs the help of taxpayers to spread awareness and make greater efforts to protect individual data.
We strongly encourage all of our clients to participate in National Tax Security Awareness Week in any way they can. To learn more about the Security Summit initiative, click here.