(PRWEB) January 27, 2004

Cosaint (http://www.cosaint.net) – a Mount Vernon (WA) based company specializing in end-user security awareness training – is pleased to announce the release of “Avoiding Identity Theft” – the latest in its series of web-based awareness courses.

Identity theft is a hot topic these days. Seldom does a day go by without a news item describing a “phishing” attack, or personal data being stolen from an enterprise. And Federal Trade Commission (FTC) figures show just how serious this is with 27.3 million Americans being victims of identity theft in the five years up to 2002. Over the same period, the financial losses to businesses were over $ 47 billion and consumers suffered $ 5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses. If identity theft affects you personally, you can suffer immediate financial losses and also the added burden of reestablishing your credit rating – a task that (for some people) can take years.

Although many people mistakenly consider identity theft to be purely a computer crime, it’s not. Many identity thefts – perhaps the majority of incidents – start with the physical theft of information or a social engineering attack designed to trick an unwary person into revealing critical personal information. But the nature of the Internet has also made it much easier for criminals to exploit the thefts, and even to sell identities to other criminals thus compounding the problems for the victims.

And although many people are aware of the dangers of identity theft, they’re not certain how identity thefts actually occur, how to minimize the risks, or how to react if they become victims themselves.

About the Course

“Avoiding Identity Theft” is designed to make students aware of the dangers that identity theft poses – not only to themselves, but also to others – and to highlight measures that can be taken to reduce the risk. It also includes valuable advice on how to spot identity theft, and how to react if you become a victim.

As well as helping students avoid the trauma of becoming victims themselves, this course can also help organizations by reducing the risk of an assumed identity being used in a social engineering attack, and by introducing their staff to many basic principles of information security in a context that they will find immediately relevant.

“Avoiding Identity Theft” covers the following topics:


What is identity theft?

The potential impact

Who is affected?

How identity theft happens

Examples including:

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