In a world that is more and more dependent on the digitalization of currency, data breaches are an increasing threat to both businesses and consumers. When cyber thieves steal your private information, how long will it take to clear your name of any fraudulent accounts and activity? What if you own a business? How will you pay for the business disruption and financial liability? Here at Van De Hey Insurance, we know how important it is to protect yourself and your business against data breaches. While you may not be able to stop them from happening, there are steps you can take to minimize your losses if cyber thieves target you in the future.
As an individual, your financial identity is largely tied to your Social Security number, credit card numbers, credit report, and other sensitive information. If this information is exposed and sold on the dark web, criminals could use it to borrow money, make unauthorized charges, or even get a job in your name. If you identify fraudulent activity quickly, it may be easier to prevent major damage by putting a freeze on your credit and reporting suspicious activity right away. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to identify fraud when it is happening:
Enroll in Credit Monitoring
Credit monitoring services intermittently check your credit report for any activity or changes that could indicate possible fraud. When you sign up for one of these services, you may receive periodic reports about the state of your credit score, as well as additional notifications when there is a change of address, new account, increased account balance, or new place of employment. This allows you to review the new information and take the appropriate steps if you detect unauthorized activity.
Read Your Bank and Credit Card Statements
It’s easy to get in the habit of paying your bills and shredding the statements or tossing them into your tax file. However, you could be overlooking some red flags – especially if identity thieves are making small charges on your accounts instead of large ones. Set aside a few minutes each month to review all your account activity and report any fraudulent charges.
Get Identity Theft insurance
Identity theft can drain your resources as you try to undo the damage unleashed on your credit. You lose wages as you take off work to make phone calls, and you may even need to spend money hiring legal help or traveling to clear your name. In these scenarios, identity theft insurance can help cover your out-of-pocket costs for identity theft-related expenses (except fraudulent liabilities created in your name).
You can purchase identity theft insurance as a stand-alone policy, or you can talk to an agent here at Van De Hey Insurance about adding this important coverage to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy. For a small fee of around $15 to $20 per year, it is a small price to pay for something that could end up costing you a lot more if you were to become a victim.
Protect Your Business
As a business owner, you probably have several different types of insurance coverage that you purchased to protect the continuity of your company in the event of a major loss or liability. With the increasing risk of commercial data breaches, however, you could have a gaping hole in your coverage if you are without cyber-crime insurance. If big companies like Equifax can fall to data theft just this year, a smaller business is likely even more susceptible. If your business is the next target, you may need to pay for:
- Victim notification of the breach
- Credit monitoring
- Business interruption
- Virus removal and website reconstruction
- Legal fees
- And more
Commercial data breach insurance can help cover these costs so that you can minimize the damage to your bottom line. However, insurance underwriters may require your business to submit to specific requirements, such as staff security training and third-party auditing. You may also need to develop a contingency plan to follow in the event of a data breach.
To find out more about personal identity theft insurance or commercial cyber-crime insurance, contact the team here at Van De Hey Insurance today.