Data Breach Tips

If you haven’t heard about the most recent data breach, we may wonder if you have been living under a rock!

Although, it is an upsetting fact that we have to worry about such things, we indeed have to do so.  Someone can do all the right things in prevention and their information can still be exposed.  Who would have thought that a company you are trusting with such personal information could be hacked?

The A & O team wanted to give some tips on how to react if you find out you have been affected, just in case:

  • File your taxes early – once you receive all of your tax documents bring them to your tax professional at A & O.  Filing early can help prevent someone else from using your social security number to file the return for the refund.  If we find that your social security number was used to file a return before you could, keep calm because we can help!
  • Check your credit score – Make sure there is nothing new opened in your name that you didn’t authorize.
  • Put a freeze on your credit – This will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name.  It will not prevent a thief from make charges on existing accounts. This is why it is a must to monitor your credit cards and bank accounts for unauthorized purchases!
  • Fraud Alert – If you do not want to put a freeze on your credit, you can put an alert on it.  This way, if someone does try to open something new in your name, the creditor will be alerted and make sure they have verified that it is really you.

We live in a very digital age, there are many sites that (for free or a small cost) you can access your credit score from the comfort of your couch! Be diligent and aware.

If you need more advice or have questions on this topic, be sure to contact your tax professional at A & O.