Cyber criminals recognize the increased transmission of personal information during tax season and use aggressive methods to prey on unsuspecting victims. Deploying best-of-breed Internet security software, and following safe online practices, helps ensure that sensitive information stays out of the wrong hands and is submitted securely
BOULDER, Colo. (PRWEB) March 6, 2007
Webroot specifically cautioned users about a potential spike in the instances of system monitors and keyloggers during tax season. Last year Webroot's Threat Research Team recorded a 265 percent increase in the instances of system monitors from February to March, when the majority of users use the Internet to prepare and file their taxes. Classified as some of the most dangerous computer security threats, system monitors and keyloggers can track and record a user's individual keystrokes, making it easy for spyware criminals to steal any personal information that might be entered into an online tax program or form.
"Tax forms require users to submit a significant amount of sensitive information such as social security numbers, tax IDs and financial statements, along with general contact information like addresses and telephone numbers," said Mike Irwin, COO of Webroot Software. "This wealth of information can translate into big payoffs for cyber criminals looking to steal identities or hack into financial accounts, so we recommend users protect their information and PCs with a proven Internet security program, especially during tax season."
To help Internet users ensure the safety of their information before they begin preparing their taxes, Webroot is offering users a free computer scan to check for spyware, viruses and other dangerous forms of malware. Users can visit Webroot's website, run a quick and exhaustive scan of their system and then feel confident that their computers are safe and their information will stay protected.
In addition to running a free Internet security scan, Webroot recommends users adhere to the following best practices when preparing and filing taxes online:
-- Make sure you are running updated versions of best-of-breed anti-spyware and anti-virus software and scan your entire system at least once a week.
-- For Federal electronic filings, make sure to use services directly linked to http://www.irs.gov, and do not respond to email inquiries regarding your taxes.
-- If you plan to file your state taxes online be sure to only use links directly from your official state homepage. Links to the official websites for all 50 states are available at http://us.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml.
"Cyber criminals recognize the increased transmission of personal information during tax season and use aggressive methods to prey on unsuspecting victims. Deploying best-of-breed Internet security software, and following safe online practices, helps ensure that sensitive information stays out of the wrong hands and is submitted securely," added Irwin.
Webroot Software, Inc. provides industry leading security software for consumers, enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses worldwide. Globally recognized for its award-winning Spy Sweeper(R) line of anti-spyware products, Webroot recently incorporated anti-virus protection into two new products for consumers and SMBs, respectively: Spy Sweeper(R) with AntiVirus and Webroot(R) SME Security. The company also recently expanded into the parental controls software market with the introduction of Webroot(R) Child Safe(R). The Boulder, Colorado based company is privately held and backed by some of the industry's leading venture capital firms, including Technology Crossover Ventures, Accel Partners and Mayfield. Webroot's software consistently receives top review ratings by respected third-party media and has been adopted by millions globally. Available as either branded solutions or on an OEM basis, Webroot products can be found at http://www.webroot.com and on the shelves of leading retailers worldwide. To find out more about Webroot, visit the website or call 1-800-772-9383.
(C)2003-2007, Webroot Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Webroot and Spy Sweeper are registered trademarks or trademarks of Webroot Software, Inc. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.