Strong passwords help keep tax data safe - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Strong passwords help keep tax data safe

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© iStockphoto / Amy Walters © iStockphoto / Amy Walters

From IRS.gov

Passwords are often the key to guarding access to personal information and data stored on computers or sent over email. Because most taxpayers file their returns electronically and access account information online, it is critical for taxpayers to not only create strong passwords for all tax-related accounts, but to do everything in their power to protect those passwords.

Here are seven things taxpayers should consider when creating and protecting passwords:

Longer passwords are safer and more difficult to guess. A strong password should be a minimum of eight characters. It should include a combination of letters, numbers, symbols and special characters.  

A password should include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and one symbol or character.  

Taxpayers should not include personal information in passwords.  A criminal can find names of siblings, friends, children and pets on social media sites. This makes it easier for cybercriminals to figure out a person’s password that includes these names.  

Avoid using the same password for all information systems, accounts and devices. If someone does guess one password, they will not have access to all the other accounts.  

Taxpayers can substitute numbers and symbols for letters in words or phrases to make it more difficult for a thief to guess a password.  

People should never share passwords.  

Taxpayers should be careful of attempts to trick you into revealing your password.

Remember that all of the web page addresses for the official IRS website, IRS.gov, begin with http://www.irs.gov. Don' t be confused or misled by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is http://www.irs.gov/.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
INFORMATIONAL DISCLAIMER The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
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