Security Awareness Week Begins Monday

Security Awareness Week Begins Monday

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGillUniversity Communications
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What if your laptop or personal computer login and password were the final security measures keeping your identity from being stolen and sold to the highest bidder on the Internet?

In fact, they are, says The University of Arizona Information Security Office.

Next week, the Information Security Office is sponsoring "The Spy Who Hacked Me," a series of events marking Security Awareness Week. The week will include six presentations for general audiences and six for technical audiences, and a tent on the UA Mall – all with a James Bond theme. Among the presentations: "License to Steal: What Your IT Staff CAN'T Do For You," "Spy Another Day: Botnets and Spyware" and "Not For Your Eyes Only: Securing Wireless and Mobile Devices."

"With the onslaught of new online threats such as identity theft and spyware, engaging in safe online behavior is crucial," says Kelley Bogart of the UA Information Security Office. "We use computers in virtually every aspect of our lives and we must understand the risks, along with the steps we can take to help protect ourselves and our information online."

Consider the latest identify theft numbers reported by the Federal Trade Commission in 2007:

  • More than 8 million U.S. residents were victims of identify theft.
  • On average, victims spent $531 repairing the damage and 25 hours clearing up the situation with financial institutions.
  • The total cost of identity theft in the U.S. was $49 billion.

The Federal Trade Commission Web site states that identify theft is used for various types of financial fraud. Thieves use stolen identities to open credit cards and charge items in the victim's name or use stolen identities for phone or utilities fraud to obtain wireless phones, wireless service or other utility services, or they may use the stolen identity to create counterfeit checks from the victim's bank, take out a loan or even obtain medical benefits.

And, according to the commission's most current data, Arizona leads the nation in the most identity theft victims per capita.

The UA Information and Security Office will offer general and technical sessions at various times during the week at three campus locations.

By attending one or more of the offered sessions, employees, students and members of the general public can learn about computer security steps that will help them secure sensitive information and protect computer resources.

The tent on the Mall will offer computer users computer safety tips, information about free anti-virus and other security software, and handouts that will help them practice safe computer and online habits. The tent will be on the Mall on Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free giveaways and door prizes will be available on the Mall and during all sessions.

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