Have you ever filed your taxes using an online tax prep account? If so, you’ll want to know about the FTC’s recent settlement with TaxSlayer, LLC.
What happened? From October until December 2015, hackers used user names and passwords stolen from other websites to try to log in to TaxSlayer Online. Because consumers sometimes reuse passwords, hackers were able to gain full access to more than 8,800 TaxSlayer Online accounts. Thieves could have filed fraudulent tax returns, changed bank routing numbers, and sent tax refunds to themselves.
How could this happen? According to the FTC, TaxSlayer didn’t require users to have strong passwords, didn’t have a written information security program, and wasn’t doing risk assessments to identify threats to customer information. The FTC’s settlement requires TaxSlayer to have a written security program and safeguards to protect customer information.
Still worried about keeping your tax information safe? Here are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of tax identity theft: