HMRC’s top tips to stay safe online

04 September 2018

HMRC’s Tax Agent Blog provides a useful reminder of how you can play your part in keeping your data secure online.


Use strong and separate passwords

  • don’t use the same password over multiple systems

  • choose something that’s not easy to guess; such as three random words or a combination of letters and numbers

  • don’t use words or dates that are related to you or your family, e.g. birthdays, children’s names, pets’ names

  • keep your password private – don’t share it with colleagues

  • immediately change your password if you suspect it has been compromised

  • don’t use a variation of your old password when changing it

  • use two-step verification when available.


Beware of misleading websites

Scammers create websites that look similar to HMRC’s official site and then direct the public to call numbers with extortionate costs, instead of the low cost and no cost service HMRC provides. These sites promote non-HMRC premium rate phone numbers as a means of reaching HMRC but are merely call forwarding services, which connect callers to HMRC at a significant price.

Always check GOV.UK for genuine contact numbers.


Beware of phishing emails/texts/calls

  • Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details

  • Stay safe – don’t give out private information, reply to text messages, download attachments or click on links in emails you weren’t expecting

  • Take action if you think something’s wrong


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