Hand over your wallet and your identity

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First of all, Ryan Reynolds has nothing to do with this post. I just needed something nice to look at to find my Zen place before discussing the ugly subject of taxes. 

Tax season is my least favorite of all the US holiday seasons. I call it a holiday because it’s like Christmas — you experience anxiety & heart palpatations as the day approaches, and your bank account gets drained.

In years past, I’ve had an accountant do all of my tax dirty work. It’s just easier to throw a bunch of documents at him and say “go do that voodoo that you do” and then just sign over any refund directly to him because it’s so flipping expensive. This year, however, I decided to go the el cheapo route and file my own since I am a smart person. Ok. I’m not that smart. I had software to help me. In the spirit of cheapness, that software was free thanks to my previous employer which had a deal with Intuit to provide free downloads to all employees. Cha-ching! That $22 saved will pay for my steak & shrimp platter at Sizzler, including the salad bar, so y’all know I’m stoked on that.

Anywho, I also chose to e-file my completed tax forms because, besides being cheap I am also too lazy to go to the post office. Well, now I’m a little worried and hoping that I did everything correctly and that the security on my pc was airtight after reading some news published by anti-malware vendor, Bitdefender:

Thursday March 20, 2008 Don’t Sign Your Refund Check Over to Malware Writers
Cybercriminals will find ways to reach your confidential information unless your network is securely protected

 
With tax season coming down to the wire, most American households are preparing to fire up their web browsers in order to use one of the main online tax preparation software programs in order to begin the dreary, but necessary, task of filing tax documentation for the year.Filing tax returns is one of the yearly tasks American households must add to their already-busy schedules. Without proper network security, households risk having not only their networks attacked, but also risk losing personal information. Some think that having a basic antivirus solution is enough to prevent intrusions. Others may not even be aware that their computer could be at risk. To help American households prevent identity theft, BitDefender® is offering valuable tips to follow this tax season. For most, filing taxes has become a routine. Few pause to contemplate the consequence of exposing all their information to the Net – and with the multitude of viruses, worms, phishing attacks, hacking attempts and other assorted nefarious acts being perpetrated on the Web these days, data and identity theft are not as remote of a possibility as people would like to assume.

“As cybercriminals learn and employ new ways to attempt to steal financial and personal information, consumers need to be aware that their network could be at risk,” said Bogdan Dumitru, BitDefender CTO. “Especially during tax season – when more and more people are turning to the internet to help file their tax returns – it is especially important for households to take extra steps ensuring their network security.”

Bastards! Isn’t it enough that they try to steal my debit card info at the supermarket, and now they want to screw with my tax junk? Argh! In the good ol’ days, malware writers would just launch attacks against porn users, online gamblers, and fun crap like that. Now they’re attacking me when I’m doing stuff I don’t even enjoy! Annoying. It’s like you’re paying for something you don’t want while getting shanked from the rear by some thieving little jerk. First the money then the blood. Anyways, if you haven’t filed yet the site had some tips to help avoid identity theft.

If the blackhats start messing with my Sizzler Saturdays, there will be hell to pay.

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