Your social security number is all a thief needs to steal your tax return.

Last year when hackers stole the social security numbers of 145 million Americans from Equifax, it was one of the worst data breaches in US history. That data can be used during tax season and many consumers are going to experience tax fraud. Yes, Equifax notified consumers of hack, but you are 11 times more likely to be a victim of fraud if you are notified of a breach.

The reality is that those consumers who become tax fraud victims due to the breach will be forced to deal with the consequences alone. They will have to deal with the potential for identify theft, fraud issues, and attacks on their own systems or devices and try to figure out who has what data?

Start Your 2017 Taxes – Be Secure!

You can start filing for a 2017 return Monday, January 29, and it’s better to do it sooner than later. Your best bet is to E-file, but make sure you protect your paper W-2. Shred any unnecessary documents. If you hire a third party to file your taxes, make sure they are a reputable agency.

With your personal info, criminals can open accounts, file tax returns, and more. Don’t wait to get identity theft protection, enroll in a program now. I’d highly recommend ID CyberCenter, which offers the best bang for your buck.