Cyber Security Awareness 2011 Tip #1 Identity Theft

This is the first in a series of weekly tips on safe computing.  These tips are part of our annual participation in National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

This year we encourage everyone to Stop and Think before they Connect.  This week’s topic is Identity Theft.

The crime of Identity Theft is a major cause of damage to credit reports, bank accounts and personal reputations.

Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.  Some consumers victimized by identity theft may lose out on job opportunities, or be denied loans for education, housing or cars because of negative information on their credit reports.*

  • Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit
  • Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country

–      8.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2010*

  • Take simple steps to protect your online identity, such as:

–      Locking and password protecting your computer and cell phone

–      Not sharing specific personal information online, such as your full name or birthday

–      Setting proper privacy settings on social networking sites


For more information, or if you feel you are the victim of Identity Theft, you can find our more at the Federal Trade Commission web site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/index.html


* Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/08/us-id-theft-survey-idUSTRE71748020110208

* Source: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft.html