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Identity Theft Can Be Fun

FACE IT. For nonsecurity personnel, getting security briefings, no matter how important, can be drudgery. The best training tools engage staff and let them have fun.

Instruction about how to avoid identity theft, for instance, doesn’t have to take the form of a quickly forgotten e-mail or a dull briefing. The Federal Trade Commission now offers an amusing online quiz about the basics of identity theft, spyware, phishing, and other scams. It also teaches users how to obtain a free credit report, use sufficient passwords, report identity theft, and otherwise protect themselves from identity thieves.

Users can read about identity theft issues or go straight to the quizzes. Questions are accompanied by evocative graphics and sound effects. On the phishing questions, for example, the question appears at the top of the screen, while three possible answers are attached to fish hooks bearing worms, with a fish— the consumer—eyeing the bait underneath.

With a correct answer, the fish successfully pulls the fish off the hook. When a wrong answer is given, the fish gets caught on the hook and reeled in. After either a wrong or right answer, a text box appears that explains what the right choice is and why.