The fifth annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) will take place February 2 to 8, 2003. This year's theme for NCPW - a program that highlights consumer protection and education efforts around the country - is "Information Security: Putting the Pieces Together." The FTC joins AARP, the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Federation of America, the Federal Citizen Information Center, the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators, the National Consumers League, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Postal Service in sponsoring NCPW 2003.
Many consumers are concerned about the consequences if they lose control over their personal or sensitive information. When personal information is misused, the risks range from unwanted intrusions in consumers' daily lives to economic injury - or even threats to physical security. "The goal of this year's NCPW is to promote a 'culture of security,' in which consumers, educators, and businesses combine forces to change the way society thinks about privacy and security, and to have information security practices become second nature - just like looking both ways before crossing the street," said FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle.
The NCPW Web site - www.consumer.gov/ncpw - includes education materials on computer security, e-commerce, spam, privacy, children's issues, and identity theft.
The Web site also features a colorful poster of Dewie the e-Turtle, the FTC's information security mascot. Dewie's advice for computer users of all ages:
The NCPW website also contains an "Outreach Toolkit" that consumer and business groups can use to promote information security and participate in the event. "The FTC and its partners are using National Consumer Protection Week to educate consumers and businesses about the practical steps they can take to protect their information wisely and help minimize its misuse," said Howard Beales, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.