With cyber security threats constantly evolving and many being targeted by scammers pretending to be HMRC, the government tax department is reminding people to stay vigilant.
HMRC gives the following advice:
- Don’t use the same password over multiple systems
- Choose something that’s not easy to guess; such as three random words or a combination of letters and numbers
- Don’t use words or dates that are related to you or your family, e.g. birthdays, children’s names, pet’s names etc.
- Keep your password private
- Change your password immediately if you believe it’s been compromised
- Don’t use a variation of your old password when changing it
- Use Two-step verification when available.
Look out for misleading websites, as scammers will create websites that look similar to HMRC’s official site and then direct customers to call numbers with extortionate costs, as opposed to HMRC’s low/no cost it actually offers.
You can check the government website for genuine contact numbers.
There’s also phishing emails, texts and calls to be wary of – just remember:
- Genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue asking for your PIN, password or bank details
- Ensure you do not give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links via emails you weren’t expecting
- Always install software and app updates and install anti-virus protection that you keep up-to-date in order to protect your devices.
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