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Taxes and Privacy - They Sent Me Everything Online - Now What?

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In my last article, I discussed a few questions to ask your tax professional about identity theft protections used at their firm.

Now, what happens when you go online to retrieve your documents? Not everything comes in the mail any more. You may have signed up for e-delivery of statements, 1099's, K-1's or other documents you need to prepare your tax return. You might have forgotten you did this. In fact, I'm working with a client right now in that very situation.

If you have a financial advisor, they can help you reestablish online access. (Or send you the statements and tax documents!)

Once you do regain online access to your financial accounts, don't forget to consider how you're going online. Wireless access is not secure. Unscrupulous people with a 'sniffer' can intercept your WiFI communications and gain access to anything you are.

Don't access a financial site from WiFi unless you have taken precautions. That means using a home wireless network with WPS or WPA active and running. Or, use what's called a VPN if you must be in a public place. That gives you an encrypted wireless signal that is quite difficult to intercept.

What to do now? Check the following links to learn more about these topics. Most of all, think where you are before you login to your bank or brokerage websites.

More on VPN: http://www.hotspotshield.com/benefits-of-vpn

More on wireless security: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_security

http://kb.linksys.com/Linksys/ukp.aspx?pid=80&vw=1&articleid=19073

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