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Apr 7, 2016 7:36 PM

NH1 News Investigates: E-Filing Security Scare: What you need to know.

NH1 News

“The IRS has had some serious problems with keeping our information safe,” according to Craig Peterson, a technology consultant.

That’s not comforting news, especially during tax time when you’re sharing your most personal information. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet—and you’re planning on doing it online—we have a security warning you need to know.

An audit released by the internet security nonprofit called Online Trust Alliance finds that 46 percent—nearly half – of tax software websites in an IRS program failed security protocols. These are websites that are part of the IRS Free File Program for lower income tax filers. 70 percent of taxpayers in the US are eligible to take part in the program, so that’s a lot of potential victims.

OTA says these sites have consumer protection, site security and/or privacy issues.

They include 1040.com, 1040Now.net, fileyourtaxes.com, free1040taxreturn.com, Jackson Hewitt Online, Online Taxes at OLT.com.

“So when you’re using some of these online sites, and they’re ones the IRS is recommending, you very well could have your information stolen and then when you go to file next year you’ll find out that your tax return has already been filed,” says Peterson.

If you’re worried about your security, Peterson recommends that you go old school.

“You really should just download the forms from the IRS, your standard 1040, whatever it is you’re using and fill those out manually and send them in,” says Peterson. He adds, “You’ll have a delay in the processing and you won’t get the refund as quickly, but at least you know your information is relatively safe.”

Click here to learn more about the research.

If you have a question for Craig or you have something you want me to investigate, email me or message me on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s how to find me!

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