Identity theft can be frustrating and time-consuming. It is always important to be on guard, especially online.

The IRS put together seven steps that you can make part of your routine to protect your tax and financial information:

  1. Read your credit card and banking statements carefully and often.
  2. Review and respond to all notices and correspondence from the IRS.
  3. Review your annual Social Security income statement for excessive income reported.
  4. Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year.
  5. Read your health insurance statements; look for claims you never filed or care you never received.
  6. Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
  7. If you receive any routine federal deposit such as Social Security Administrator or Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, you probably receive those deposits electronically. You can use the same direct deposit process for your federal and state tax refund.

Learn more about these seven steps here.