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Engaging Consumers in Cyber Security: It’s Up to You

In a perfect world, consumers recognize authentic emails from fake, update their operating system, browser and anti-virus software, and have a healthy skepticism about the safety of the Internet.

The bad guys hate perfect, so we should be working with consumers to stop them.

I deal with the ugly aftermath of one type of cybercrime, helping consumers recover from identity theft. As a result, I am passionate about letting consumers know about online and real world sources of the crime.

Organizations like mine are joining forces to recruit consumers—who are also your customers and employees—in the fight against cybercrime. Expect to see major public education outreach in October as National Cyber Security Week, an initiative of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a month that also features Protect Your Identity Week, a coalition spearheaded by the National Consumer Counseling Association.

There are also professional organizations, like the Anti-Phishing Working Group and the Online Trust Alliance, that develop ideas and solutions to educate and arm consumers.

The obstacles to engaging consumers in the fight against cyber crime are enormous—more about that next time—but we ignore consumers at our peril. I encourage you to consider joining professional organizations like these and welcome your thoughts on those I’ve missed here or on our blog. In this fight, it takes an army.

Read more from the ITAC blog here.

By Anne Wallace, President, Identity Theft Assistance Center

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