Electronic tax filing can really help to speed up your tax refund turnaround vs. traditional “snail mail” methods. It can also make life easier for the people who want to steal your identity.
Now, e-filing can be as safe (or even safer) than physical tax filing. The problem is that too many folks get caught up in maximizing the convenience aspects of e-filing that they neglect security.
For instance, they transmit personal financial data using notoriously insecure public WiFi, or they neglect to password protect their home WiFi.
The result is that data and identity theft has been on the rise, and tax season is prime time for identity thieves.
Americans seem to be catching on, and are willing to trade some convenience and speed for added security.
Bankrate recently had a survey conducted, and found that 22% of Americans are willing to wait for up to eight weeks on their check in order to gain increased security. Just 15% said they would not be willing to wait any additional time to safeguard against refund fraud.
Wherever you fall on the convenience vs security continuum, just remember: it doesn’t have to be and either/or thing.
Just make sure you take a few precautions whenever you transmit sensitive information over the Internet. The big one is to make sure your connection is secure, and password protected.