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SAFEGUARDING YOUR SECURITY AND PRIVACY AT WORK AND AT HOME NEWSLETTER WINTER 2017 WINTER 2017 SECURITY SMART 1 E VERY YEAR, UNSCRUPULOUS perpetrators prey upon unsus- pecting victims worried about paying their taxes. The IRS and other agencies provide warnings, but someone always gets caught up in the hysteria and has their money or identity stolen. Don't be that person! Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst at cybersecurity firm Webroot, provides the following tips for staying secure this tax season. 1 Do not send personal information over email. The IRS will never contact you via email to request person- al or financial information. Do not click on any links or download attachments from emails claiming to be from the IRS. Government tax collection agencies don't email taxpayers to let them know they've received a refund. They already know where to send the money if you've chosen to e-file and electronically deposit your refund. 2 Beware of IRS-specific scams. Scams can involve web pages that look like the IRS website and typically contain warnings or outrageously large promises for a refund. The messages often are presented as if they originate from a tax authority, but contain links leading to phishing sites or malicious attached files. If you receive a mes- sage from "the IRS" with an attached file, don't open the attachment. 3 Avoid using search engines when looking for tax information. Poisoned search results may lead you to dangerous sites. If you need tax-re- lated information or need to download any forms, go directly to the official IRS website at instead of using a search engine. 4 Update your software. Always download the latest updates to Win- dows, as well as any non-Microsoft applications you use to read PDF documents. 5 Start with a clean machine. When preparing and collecting tax in- formation, always start the same way: Perform a full scan of the computer This Tax Season, Skip the Scams with an up-to-date antivirus program. Do this before you log into your bank account or any other website that may hold your private financial data, in- cluding your online tax filing service, if you use one. 6 Practice good password hygiene. Use complex passwords and change them frequently. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, use a credible password manager. Don't auto-save your login information, and when you finish an online session, log out of any sites with sensitive account information. 7 Limit use of public Wi-Fi: If you check your tax information in a pub- lic setting, avoid connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots and use your cellular net- work connection. Most hotspots and public Wi-Fi networks lack adequate protection, and malicious users of- tentimes will create networks or URLs that sound like they belong to coffee shops, airports or similar venues. 8 Keep personal information off your hard drive. After you've filed your taxes, collect your forms and tax return documents and burn them to a CD or DVD. Delete the tax record documents and returns from your computer's hard drive and clear the browser's history using the browser's own privacy settings. For more information on staying safe online here at BSU or at home, contact

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