The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new website as a one-stop national resource in efforts to protect consumers from identity theft. The website launch coincides with President Barack Obama’s declaration of October 2010 as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
Identity theft strikes nearly 10 million U.S. consumers annually, and inflicts $50 billion in costs on the nation’s businesses every year. The number of complaints to the FTC has grown from 1,380 in 1999 to 278,078 in 2009. The Internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords and banking information. During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, consumers are asked to learn about the risk of cyber attacks and the important steps that they can take to strengthen their digital literacy and cybersecurity.
The FTC’s identity theft website provides a broad range of tips on how consumers can protect their social security numbers, recognize signs of identity theft, prove consumers have been victims of identity theft, and file a complaint to the FTC.