Tax Day 2019: Don’t Give Away Your Personal Info

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If you’re using a third-party service to help you file your taxes, you could be allowing them to sell your personal information. Use DeleteMe to ensure that your personal information won’t be exploited by data broker websites.

When Filing Taxes, You Might be Giving Away Your Personal Information

It’s that time of year again: as we enjoy the beginning of longer days and warmer temperatures, we must also face the looming April 15th deadline to file taxes. While we’re caught up in the stress of filling out various tax forms and the relief and anticipation of a tax refund, we often forget about our other most valuable currency: personal data.

Are your tax records leaking your personal data? Not quite. Tax records are not public records in the same way as marriage records or voter registration. The IRS prohibits disclosure of tax returns except for specific cases (tax related court cases, financial aid requests, etc.).

However, the third-party companies that help you file your taxes, like TurboTax or H&R Block, do not prohibit disclosure of personal information. If you are filing your tax return electronically–the way that most people file today–you are forced to use a private company.  And when you agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, you could be giving away your right to privacy.

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A sample for TurboTax’s Privacy Policy.

To Whom are Tax Services Selling Your Info?

By using these services, you could be allowing them to sell the intimate details on your tax forms: income, number of children, medical expenses, even the amount of your tax refund. They can sell this information to data brokers, marketers, and advertisers–who then go on to sell it to other data brokers, marketers, and advertisers.

Before you know it, your name is appearing all over the internet. Just a quick Google search of your name could yield results from websites like Intelius, MyLife, Whitepages, and more.

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Data Brokers Post and Sell Your Personal Information Online.

Data brokers like Whitepages, Spokeo, and Radaris make money by selling your information to pretty much anyone willing to pay–and it’s incredibly cheap. Spokeo and Intelius charge just 95¢ for a report.

With these sites, it’s easy for anybody to find your home address, age, contact information, and more from a simple Google search. Access to this kind of information could make it easy for somebody to steal your identity, phish your credit card information, or even stalk you.  Furthermore, because your relatives’ names are listed, they are also at risk.

Get Back In Control of Your Personal Information With DeleteMe

Each data broker has its own unique opt-out policy and many of these opt-out policies are difficult to find, so it can take hours to remove yourself from every website. Data brokers want to make it as tedious as possible for you to remove your information so that you won’t take the time to opt-out. Then, even after you have gone through the effort of removing your information, it could be re-posted as the data broker continues to add personal listings to their site.

You can use our free DIY Opt-Out Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to remove yourself from each data broker, but it will take a lot of time and effort. Instead, let DeleteMe do the hard work for you. DeleteMe is a hands-free subscription service that removes you and your family’s personal information from data broker websites. Our team of privacy professionals are experts at removal from Whitepages, Intelius, BeenVerified, and every other data broker site online. Even better, they’ll check every few months to make sure your information stays off of data broker websites.

tax day 2019

About Abine

Abine, Inc. is The Online Privacy Company. Founded in 2009 by MIT engineers and financial experts, Abine’s mission is to provide easy-to-use online privacy tools and services to everybody who wants them. Abine’s tools are built for consumers to help them control the personal information companies, third parties, and other people see about them online.

DeleteMe by Abine is a hands-free subscription service that removes personal information from public online databases, data brokers, and people search websites.

Blur by Abine is the only password manager and digital wallet that also blocks trackers, and helps users remain private online by providing ‘Masked’ information whenever companies are asking for personal information.

Abine’s solutions have been trusted by over 25 million people worldwide.

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