Identity Theft is the Topic of Global Security Week 2006

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The second annual Global Security Week, a worldwide security awareness initiative, starts next Monday. Identity theft is this year's theme. Free security awareness materials are available to download from the GlobalSecurityWeek.com website.

Identity theft is generally acknowledged as the most serious financial crime of our times. It is the fastest growing white collar crime in the US, outstripping even the drugs trade. Organised criminals are preying on naive individuals, using tricks such as phishing and spyware to steal their personal data. They use the data to masquerade as the victim, typically running up huge bills before disappearing. The victim may not realise anything is amiss until they are refused credit or their cash cards stop working.

As well as individuals, organisations are also vulnerable to identity theft. Banks, in particular, tend to end up carrying the cost of fraud and theft committed by identity thieves.

Against a backdrop of global terrorism and organised crime, security in general, and information security in particular, has become a vitally-important sociological and business issue. Unauthorized disclosure of personal data is more than just a privacy issue - it leads to identity theft and fraud. Commercial and governmental organisations are investing in technical security controls but the security problems caused by people remain largely unaddressed. Widespread awareness and understanding of issues such as identity theft is a vital part of outsmarting the crooks, securing our personally identifiable information and minimising the risk.

Planned security awareness initiatives during Global Security Week this year include:

  • Making American shoppers aware of identity theft through a series of grocery store presentations
  • An identity theft seminar in Dublin, Ireland, in conjunction with the Garda and ENISA
  • The Regional Terrorism and Security Conference in Perth, Australia
  • Corporate awareness presentations in various organisations worldwide.

Visitors to the Global Security Week website are encouraged to download free security awareness materials including guidelines, presentations and briefing papers, a poster, a crossword puzzle and an extensive collection of identity theft links, all donated to the cause by Global Security Week benefactors.

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About Global Security Week

Global Security Week takes place annually in the week leading up to September 11th -- from the 4th to the 10th of September this year. It is a non-profit initiative run by a small team of volunteers across three continents to support and coordinate a range of security awareness activities worldwide in that week, taking advantage of the obvious focus on security by the world's media. This is a public awareness initiative, not a commercial or political venture. Its long-term aim is to become the focal point for security awareness activities in years to come.

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Journalists, editors and Webmasters: please visit the Global Security Week website download page for free identity theft security awareness materials, the Global Security Week logo and links, or email the organizers for more information.

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Gary Hinson

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