8 Resources for Staying Safe Online

Most people are fully aware of their vulnerability to cyber crime; however, most don’t know precisely what they can do about it–or where to do for information.

According to the 2019 Cyber Barometer published last month by Generali Global Assistance, more than 50% of individuals around the world were the victim of a cyber crime, or knew someone who was. In the U.S. credit card theft and identity theft are currently the most common forms of cyber crime. If you would like to view an infographic of Generali’s study, click here.

I have come across a LOT of websites when conducting research for the insurance courses I write that provide tips and advice to people seeking to protect themselves. URLs to those websites, and the valuable information they provide, appear below. I hope you find some of the helpful!

  1. Consumer info from the FTC: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity-online-security
  2. Identity Theft Resource Center: https://www.idtheftcenter.org/
  3. Security Awareness Free Resources (click Resources Tab at the top right of the home page): https://www.knowbe4.com/
  4. Security Tips (MANY of them, for various types of threats), from US-CERT: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips
  5. IRS Tax Scams: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
  6. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: https://www.privacyrights.org/
  7. How Secure Is My Password: https://howsecureismypassword.net/
  8. Password Generator Tool: https://thebestvpn.com/password-generator/

IRS “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2017

As a freelance writer, I research many subjects for both my fiction and nonfiction. Recently, during the research phase of a project for an educational text on identity theft, I learned that fraudulent tax preparers are among the “Dirty Dozen” of IRS tax scams for this year. Who’d have guessed?

irsDid you know:

  • To charge for preparing someone else’s tax return, you must have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number and include it on all tax returns you prepare?
  • The IRS has a website with a list of all professionals who have credentials to file tax returns? You can visit this list to find qualified preparers in your area.
  • Paid preparers who complete returns for more than 10 clients are usually required to file electronically. If your preparer refuses to file electronically, find out why.

For more information about tax preparers, visit the full article, IRS “Dirty Dozen” Series of Tax Scams for 2017 Includes Return Preparer Fraud; Choose Reputable Preparers.

To see the Dirty Dozen list for 2017, visit here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/irs-summarizes-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-2017