It’s that time of year again, tax-time and October 31st is fast approaching. Just a heads up for those using E-Tax for their Tax return, Public Wi-Fi hotspots should not be used for lodging returns. Here’s what security vendor Bitdefender had to say

Australian users should avoid using E-tax services on free Wi-Fi hotspots due to their lack of security and growing scam campaigns, Bitdefender advises.

In a single month in 2013, cybercriminals launched three scam campaigns impersonating the tax offices.

“Free Wi-Fi hotspots can be tricky and, in Australia, they have multiplied like jellyfish as of late,” said Catalin Cosoi, Bitdefender’s Chief Security Strategist. “Hackers and petty cyber-thieves can easily intercept credit card numbers, names, addresses and other personal details they use for identity theft.”

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are particularly insecure channels for submitting tax returns, shopping or banking online, he added.

Besides avoiding insecure Wi-Fi hotspots, users should look closely at their passwords. The tax season “marks a good opportunity to reinforce password security and create strong credentials for the tax return account.”

Fake MyTax applications could also target tax-payers, so users should strictly follow the Australian Tax Office’s instructions regarding tax refunds.