It's that time of year again. Time to start preparing your taxes.
It's also prime time for hackers looking to steal your identity.
Andre Mariette is like many Valley residents who do their tax return at home.
"I like doing them myself," said Mariette. "This way we're tracking everything and I can make sure it's done right."
Now, there's a warning out to anyone who enters personal information into their computer.
Seth Fink, a certified public account, told CBS5 that tax time is an ideal time for hackers looking for new and creative ways to obtain personal information.
"This is the time of year everyone is prepping to do their tax returns," said Fink. "Putting that kind of information in, you become a prime target for folks wanting to get that information and steal your identity."
According to Ken Colburn with Data Doctors, most hackers infiltrate your computer system through bogus e-mails, text messages, social media sites, even a bogus Groupon ad - anything that gets you to click on a link that launches some type of malware that can often go undetected, silently recording all of your keystrokes.
"Too many people think that if they have security software that's up to date, that they are invincible," said Colburn. "You think you can click on anything and the security software will stop that. Nothing can be further from the truth."
Colburn said that computer users need to do a routine inspection of their computer by restarting the computer, bringing up the task manager and looking to see how many processes are running.
If more than 60 are running, you may have a problem and need to get your computer checked out, Colburn said.
"It definitely does make you want to take some extra precautions so our information is not out there and someone doesn't steal our identity," said Mariette.
Colburn said that the other keys to protecting your computer and personal information is to never open an e-mail from someone you don't know and don't click on a link from a site you are not familiar with.
You will dramatically reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim, Colburn said.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:35 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:35:15 GMT
2 Phoenix first responders killed
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
"I ask every citizen on this tragic day to pray for the families and the safety of our officers and safety of our firefighters," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said Sunday morning.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:01 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:01:02 GMT
Crash victim Juan Rodriguez with his fiance Amanda Lujan.
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road. "The fourth of July, Juan proposed,More >
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles. A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:06:03 GMT
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands ofMore >
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands of criminals.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Tuesday, May 14 2013 8:25 PM EDT2013-05-15 00:25:14 GMT
Amy's Baking Company was featured on Kitchen Nightmares season finale, and let's just say things didn't go well. For the first time in the show's history it's host, Gordon Ramsay walked away. The showMore >
Scottsdale restaurant owners made a big splash on national television for being impossible to work with, and now it appears they've taken their bad attitudes to the internet. Or have they?More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-17 00:01:44 GMT
Rozenna Luna (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A mother has been taken into police custody after police say she tried to give away her 6-month-old daughter at a Phoenix gas station. Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said investigatorsMore >
Police said Rozenna Luna, 36, had been drinking and was on meth when she asked strangers if they wanted a "free child" as she attempted to give the baby girl away at a Phoenix gas station.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 11:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:49:34 GMT
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effectMore >
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effect next month. More >