For most of us, the word “cybersecurity” can feel a bit intimidating, but you don’t need to be a tech whiz to protect your information online. The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) recommends taking a few simple steps to combat one of the most common cybersecurity threats—phishing.
Phishing is when criminals disguise themselves as a trusted person or company in emails that trick you into disclosing personal information or clicking on links and attachments with malware that can steal data from your computer. Phishing emails can appear legitimate, and criminals can pose as your bank, coworkers and even as DOR or the IRS. Once they have your data, they can use it to submit a fraudulent tax return and collect your refund.
So how can you protect yourself and your data? One of the most effective forms of cybersecurity is simply educating yourself. Here are some ways to tell if you’ve received a phishing email:
- It’s poorly written.
- It includes a suspicious link or attachment.
- It uses fear tactics to make you panic and take immediate action.
- It seems to be from DOR or the IRS and asks for personal information—neither agency will ask for personal information via email.
Once you’ve identified a phishing message, do not click on any links or attachments. Simply delete it. If you receive a suspicious email that claims to be from DOR, please report it to:
Indiana Department of Revenue
Phone: 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST