Identity theft can affect a credit score

Since a consumer’s credit score is so important in dealing with their personal finances, individuals should take steps to make sure they safeguard themselves from identity theft.

October marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which represents a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. This marks the sixth year for the awareness month, which was kicked off by an event in Washington, D.C.

Along with the three organizations, the campaign represents a partnership between a number of companies, schools, nonprofits and governmental organizations. Furthermore, the theme of the month focuses on the idea that ensuring cyber security depends on everyone, including individuals.

“Employing software tools and safe online behavior allows consumers, businesses and children to use the internet with confidence and reap the benefits of participation in a digital society,” Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA, said.

Identity theft is a large concern when it comes to cyber security. Because so many transactions can occur online, consumers need to make sure their information is safe from hackers. Doing so involves having good passwords and only giving information to trusted sites.

Because identity thieves may focus on personal and financial information, a consumer’s credit score could be at risk, making it that much more difficult for them to get out of debt problems.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, roughly 8.3 million American adults were victims of identity theft in 2005.