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Scams are rampant but you can protect yourself

We are not alone in trying to keep you safe. The IRS and other states are working hard to come up with ways to stop the scammers who never take a holiday. We’ve pulled some of the best preventions and offer you a few basic steps.

  • Security software is essential for computers and mobile phones – be sure to keep it updated.
  • Antivirus and firewall software should prevent malware and filter out attacks.
  • Stay ahead of phishing schemes, a favorite way for thieves to steal your data. Don’t open links or attachments in an email if you’re at all suspicious.
  • COVID-19 and economic impact payments are a favorite new target for thieves. Stay vigilant.
  • It’s worth the time to create strong passwords – password managers can help you remember them.
  • When you’re shopping online, make sure the web address starts with “https.” The “s” means secure.
  • Using unsecure public Wi-Fi is not recommended when you’re shopping online – thieves are probably shopping your information.
  • Be sure to secure your home Wi-Fi with a password to keep thieves out.
  • Back up the files on your computer and phone so you can recover essential information if it’s lost.
  • If you’re working from home and don’t have a VPN through your workplace, consider purchasing the service.

There’s lots of information out there to help you protect yourself. Here are just a few:

Federal Communications Commission’s Smartphone Security Checker

COVID-related fraud complaints can be filed at the National Center for Disaster Fraud

Federal Trade Commission’s Coronavirus Advice for Consumers

IRS, state tax agencies, and private sector coordination at Security Summit.

 

We wish you a happy holiday season and hope you stay safe and secure.

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