SOURCE: F-Secure

F-Secure, Internet Security, Anti-Virus, Antispyware, Firewall, Operation Aurora, zero-day exploits

February 03, 2010 11:30 ET

F-Secure Releases Five Steps to Safe e-Filing for the 2010 Tax Season

Internet Security Experts Share Tips for Protecting Your Identity When Filing Tax Information Online

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - February 3, 2010) - The Internet security experts at F-Secure today released five tips to safely e-file as the 2010 tax season begins. With Americans on track to file 100 million tax returns electronically this year, these sensitive transactions are an attractive target for cybercriminals. To promote safe e-filing behavior, F-Secure has outlined steps to keep confidential information secure.

The sensitive nature of information contained in tax returns, including social security numbers, addresses, employer information, salary information, investments and other financial information and contact details, raise the stakes for victims of phishing or other Internet scams. With an estimated nine million Americans victimized by identity theft each year, a crime of potentially devastating consequences, e-filing should be a time of heightened awareness of online security.

Following these five tips can help promote safe electronic filing of tax forms:

    1.  Make sure your computer operating system, applications and Internet 
        security software are updated.
    2.  If you have VPN, use it when you're using Wi-Fi. If you don't, then
        don't use a public hotspot to work on sensitive activities, such as 
        tax e-filing.
    3.  Use reputable tax preparation software and read user reviews online 
        before purchasing.
    4.  Guard your email accounts as if they're holding cash money.
    5.  Be vigilant and avoid phishing scams when using email and surfing 
        the web.

"Phishing schemes are not new, but the type of information sent in the transaction makes victims of tax filing schemes particularly vulnerable to identity theft and other major consequences," said Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor, North American Labs, F-Secure. "You should always protect your information by choosing strong passwords, regularly running antivirus programs and never accessing sensitive material over public Wi-Fi. If there was ever a time to be particularly vigilant, online tax time is it."

Home PC users worried about the security of their applications and operating systems can quickly check their computer with F-Secure's free Health Check, which scans for application vulnerabilities, and free Online Scanner, which searches PCs for viruses and spyware. Additionally, e-filers looking to keep home computers safe from viruses and malware can do so with F-Secure's Internet Security 2010, which offers comprehensive protection for PC users. For a limited time, F-Secure will be introducing a Tax Time special offer, making F-Secure Internet Security available for $49.99, a savings of $10 off the list price. The Tax Time special will run from February 2 to April 30, 2010, and the one-year subscription can be used by up to three users. Please visit to purchase.

More details about these safety tips are available online at

F-Secure -- Protecting the irreplaceable

While you concentrate on what is important to you, we make sure you are protected and safe online whether you are using a computer or a smartphone. We also backup and enable you to share your important files. Our services are available through over 200 operators around the world and trusted in millions of homes and businesses. Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. | |

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