Tax Season. You either love it or you’re forking over some money. Either way, taxes are something everyone has to deal with. But there is something making this season even more stressful for us and that’s identity theft. While that may seem unrelated to taxes it most definitely is not. Criminals can (and do!) collect your personal information from various sources which can be used to make fraudulent refunds. Many times personal information is stolen from various sites or databases; just think of all the data breaches suffered by businesses you use each day!
TaxSlayer is an online tax preparation software company used by many Americans. This month, it joins TaxAct in a data breach. They notified 8,800 of their customers that their accounts may have been accessed by cyber-criminals using their stolen usernames and passwords. This is the second month in a row during this tax season, that a tax software company has been attacked.
These types of events raise a huge concern. How much of our information is out there? While we can change account usernames, passwords, and challenge questions, it’s much more difficult to change things like our Social Security Numbers, Driver’s License Numbers, and Home Addresses. Is there a certain degree of power that cyber criminals will have over us due to the sheer amount of information that has been leaked via data breaches? It’s definitely something to ponder.