In 2015, the IRS launched an initiative with the tax industry to put increased safeguards in place to prevent identity theft and protect taxpayers’ data from thieves. You can check out Fact Sheet 2015-23 to see the details of all that the initiative includes.

But the IRS can’t prevent identity theft alone, and they’re asking taxpayers for help. Here’s what you can do to protect your data.

  • Use security software with firewall and antivirus protection on your computers. And make sure to update the software as soon as new updates become available.
  • Encrypt tax records and other sensitive information on your computer.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Learn to recognize phishing emails and fraudulent phone calls from thieves posing as the IRS, your bank, or credit card company.
  • Don’t click on attachments in emails unless you are sure you know the sender.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card unless you need it, and keep tax records secure. Treat your personal information just like you would cash.

For more information on how to recognize fraud and protect your data, check out the resources here.