This year’s data breaches affected millions of people, exposing their information to cybercriminals across the dark web. Identity theft has taken a dark turn in recent years, with many companies and individuals becoming victims of theft and extortion. If 2017 is any indication of what is to come, we can expect 2018 to be even worse. Not to mention, once private information, such as a Social Security number, has been exposed, it could be used against you for many years to come.
Here at Thiel Insurance Group, we want to help our clients protect themselves and their businesses against the dangers of cyber-crime. It may be impossible to stop the next big data breach, but you can take precautionary steps to protect yourself against victimization.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Identity theft can affect your finances in many ways. If criminals gain access to your credit card numbers, you might find fraudulent charges on your accounts. If they access your Social Security number, the damage could be far worse and potentially affect your credit-worthiness. That is why consumers should make a habit of checking financial statements and credit reports on a regular basis for signs of unauthorized activity.
You may find it easier to keep tabs on your credit report by enrolling in a third-party credit monitoring service. These services track your credit and notify you of changes or unusual activity. You may receive an email when a new account is opened in your name or when a new job or address is listed on your report. If you notice fraudulent activity, report it to the credit bureau right away, and consider putting a ‘freeze’ on your credit to help prevent additional credit applications in your name.
Identity Theft Insurance
One of the most important tools in the fight against identity theft is your insurance policy. While Identity Theft Insurance does not pay for fraudulent liabilities, it can help you cover the cost of clearing your name. This may include replacing your lost wages if you miss work to defend your credit. It could also include the cost of hiring legal assistance or traveling when necessary.
Talk to any of us here at Thiel Insurance Group to find out more about Identity Theft Insurance. You may be eligible to purchase a stand-alone policy or add the coverage directly to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy.
How You Can Protect Your Business
Businesses are targets for cyber-crime as well – particularly those that store sensitive consumer information, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. If your business software is hacked or infected with a virus that leaches private data, you could face exorbitant costs due to business interruption, punitive damages, and the cost of repairing your software or website after the breach. You may also need to pay for credit monitoring if your customers or patients are directly affected.
Commercial Cyber-Crime Insurance can help cover these costs so that your business can begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. At Thiel Insurance Group, we can help you find coverage for your business. Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies have varying underwriting requirements for cyber-crime coverage. Depending on your industry and the size of your business, you may need to create a contingency plan in case of a breach and also implement loss prevention strategies, such as audits, software updates, employee cyber-security education, and more.
To find out more about Commercial Cyber-Crime insurance, contact our office today.