Follow these steps to protect yourself:
Secure your computer.
Use security software that updates automatically and includes a firewall, virus protection, malware protection, and file encryption. Give personal information only over encrypted and trusted websites. Use strong passwords and protect them.
Beware of Phishing.
Phishing is defined as "the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers." Thus, do not respond to emails, texts or calls that appear to be from the IRS, banks, brokerage companies and other financial institutions or well known businesses. Always, verify contact information about private companies or government agencies by going directly to their website. Be very suspicious of email attachments and be sure that the option to automatically download attachments is disabled on all your devices.
Guard your personal information.
Don't routinely carry a Social Security card or other documents showing a Social Security number in your wallet. Keep sensitive documents in a fireproof safe or other secure location. Safeguard electronic files by encrypting them (including the hard drive in your computer). Always shred old tax documents and other documentation that contains personal information such as past addresses, car leases, real estate settlement documents, insurance policies (both life and property and casualty), loan applications, and any documents that contain information about your children.