BlogPrivacy4TH JAN 2024
AuthorSamir Yawar
6 min read

What is National Identity Theft Awareness Month

This feature image is for a blog on National Identity Theft Awareness Month
BlogPrivacy4TH JAN 2024
6 min read

What is National Identity Theft Awareness Month

AuthorSamir Yawar
This feature image is for a blog on National Identity Theft Awareness Month

Approximately 33% of Americans have faced at least one brush with identity theft in their lifetime. Navigating the labyrinth of data in today's world makes achieving total safety a challenging feat. Boosting your awareness of potential fraud can serve as a powerful shield. Recognize that, much like everyone else, you're a potential bullseye for identity theft. Which brings us to the National Identity Theft Awareness Month.

What is the National Identity Theft Awareness Month?

National Identity Theft Awareness Month, observed annually, serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of safeguarding our personal information in an increasingly digital world.

Recognized each January, this awareness campaign encourages individuals to stay informed about the latest identity theft trends and adopt best prevention practices to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

Cybercriminals continually devise new methods to exploit vulnerabilities, making it imperative for us to stay one step ahead. From financial fraud to the misuse of personal information, the consequences of identity theft can be severe, affecting not only our financial well-being but also our emotional and mental health.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a form of cybercrime where an individual's personal information is unlawfully obtained and used for fraudulent purposes. This malicious activity can have severe consequences for the victim, ranging from financial losses to damage to their reputation.

Here are a few examples of identity theft:

Why is Identity Theft Worrying? has some concerning statistics regarding identity theft in 2023:

  • Americans are anticipated to report nearly 560,000 cases of identity theft, and this number is expected to soar beyond one million complaints by the year's end.

  • Moreover, the projected total monetary losses attributable to identity theft stand at a staggering $10.2 billion.

  • Identity theft transpires at a staggering pace, with an incident transpiring approximately every 22 seconds, owing to the diverse array of tactics employed.

  • Individuals aged 30-39 encounter the highest rates of victimization, while seniors find themselves among the least-affected demographic groups.

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft?

Be it your credit score or any personally identifying information, identity theft occurs all year round. It ramps up during the holiday season since people are inclined to spend more during that period of the year.

Nevertheless, a few basic things can help you minimize the risk to you and your loved ones:

Rule #1: Fortify Your Defenses

Invest in a reliable firewall and reputable antivirus protection as your cybersecurity bedrock. Regularly test their functionality, ensuring they serve as an inexpensive yet indispensable safeguard. This stands as the foremost rule in the realm of cybersecurity.

Phishing Vigilance

Beware of phishing emails attempting to deceive you with alarming messages about missed credit card payments or undelivered packages. These scams aim to extract sensitive information. Refrain from responding to such emails. When in doubt, seek advice from a tech-savvy friend.

Password Prowess

Elevate your password game by avoiding uniformity across multiple sites. Craft lengthy and nonsensical passwords for enhanced security. Embrace the effectiveness of two-step authentication, providing an additional layer of protection that may add a few seconds to your login but proves invaluable.

Flash Drive Caution

Exercise caution when using external drives, even if they belong to someone you trust. Always scan any flash drive for viruses before accessing its contents to avert potential threats.

Public Wi-Fi Pitfalls

Steer clear of public Wi-Fi for the sake of your cybersecurity. Public networks offer an open invitation for malicious actors to compromise your connection. Resist the temptation, especially while enjoying that morning coffee.

Financial Statement Scrutiny

Review your credit report and bank statements diligently to promptly detect unauthorized transactions. Should you spot any discrepancies, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to address the issue.

Hard Drive Encryption

Prioritize the encryption of your hard drive as an added layer of protection. Modern operating systems often provide default encryption options that are user-friendly. This ensures that even if your laptop falls into the wrong hands, tampering with your data becomes significantly more challenging without compromising system speed.

Innovative Promotional Strategies for Identity Theft Prevention

This National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month, let us keep these practices in mind:

Magnetic Wisdom

Provide insightful identity theft prevention guidelines on refrigerator magnets, desk sets, or calendars featuring your company's logo. Make safeguarding personal information a daily habit for your audience.

Security Talk Sessions

Host engaging talks by inviting a security specialist to address community members. Equip them with practical steps to minimize the risk of identity theft, turning awareness into action.

Invest in Cybersecurity Learning

Believe it or not, cybersecurity awareness training is geared towards everyone. Invest in it.

Branded Vigilance

Craft branded pamphlets to distribute among retailers and businesses. Remind them of the importance of safeguarding against data breaches and educate their employees about identity fraud. These pamphlets act as a crucial defense against scammers targeting seasonal help.

Lock it Down

Identity theft protection companies can strengthen customer engagement by sending promotional locks or logo key chains. These tangible reminders encourage individuals to secure their homes. Additionally, customized credit cardholders serve as a practical accessory, preventing easy theft of card information. 


Stakeholders at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to banks are of the view that personal or financial information should be safeguarded zealously.

Our commitment to safeguarding our identity must be unwavering. As National Identity Theft Awareness Month draws to a close, let's carry this vigilance forward, making every month an opportunity to fortify our defenses.

Samir Yawar
Samir Yawar / Content Lead
Samir wants a world where people can instinctively whack online scams and feel accomplished without the need for psychic powers. As an ISC2 member, he is doing his bit to turn cybersecurity awareness training into a fun concept with simple, approachable and accessible content. Reach out to him at X @yawarsamir
FAQsFrequently Asked Questions
National Identity Theft Awareness Month is an annual campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence of identity theft and providing resources to help individuals protect themselves from becoming victims.
Identity theft is a widespread and ever-evolving crime that can have serious consequences for individuals, businesses, and society. Raising awareness helps educate people about the risks and empowers them to take proactive steps to safeguard their personal information.
Common signs of identity theft include unauthorized transactions on your accounts, receiving bills for unfamiliar accounts, being denied credit for no apparent reason, and noticing unusual activities on your credit reports.