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Be Careful Filing Income Taxes Using Convenient Devices

Everything is on the go these days. So it only makes sense that thousands are using their laptops, tablets, even smart phones to prepare their taxes and file them.

But remember all that convenience comes with some risks. Wherever you go your personal tax information goes too.

"The main pieces of information that an identity thief would need: name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, telephone. They've got everything, that's the keys to your kingdom," Steve Schwartz, the executive vice president of Intersections, said.

Schwartz specializes in identity theft protection.

He says if you're going to use your handy dandy devices, make sure it's secure.

Schwartz also says never use an open wireless network like those at airports or coffee shops, no matter how secure the connection.

Also take extra precautions, just in case you lose your device.

"Make sure that you have a service that allows you to wipe that device if you lose it. If you lose it, you want to be able to remotely go online and say, wipe all the data out of my device. That way if somebody does get their hands on it, they can't get into your information," Schwartz advises.

Schwartz also says be careful of someone looking over your shoulder while you're typing, and choose a password that's tough for scammers to crack.

My 11 Call for Action piece that aired last November emphasizes that point.

We purchased a computer at a local pawn shop and found all kinds of confidential details, including a family's income tax returns.

The former owner didn't wipe the laptop, and could've been at risk for losing an enormous amount of personal data, including her family's Social Security numbers

We gave the computer back to her for her safekeeping.


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