These days, it seems like everyone has either been a victim of hacking or at least knows someone who has experienced identity theft. Millions of private consumer records are stolen from businesses every year, creating financial vulnerabilities that are almost impossible to prevent. Just this year, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other information was stolen from a major credit bureau, as well as several big-name retailers.
Of course, those are just the data breaches the public currently knows about. Hackers often view sensitive consumer data for months before companies learn about security vulnerabilities. In fact, someone could be leaching your private information and selling it on the dark web right now, and you wouldn’t know anything about it until new charges or accounts appear in your name. So what can you do to protect yourself and your business against the next big data breach?
While you cannot stop hackers from stealing your information, you do have options when it comes to protecting yourself against identity theft.
Enroll in Credit Monitoring – Credit monitoring services will alert you when they detect unusual activity on your credit report. New jobs, new addresses, new credit inquiries, and even new accounts could all indicate identity theft. Early detection facilitates a more rapid response, which may help minimize financial damages. If you do notice credit fraud, you can help prevent additional applications for credit by placing a ‘freeze’ on your credit report.
(Note that you may be eligible for free credit monitoring if you have already been a victim of a data breach.)
Purchase Identity Theft Insurance – Identity theft insurance helps pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with restoring and correcting your credit history and financial accounts after a theft of personal information. This could include the cost of taking off work or even hiring legal assistance. If you do not have identity theft insurance, contact Tolbert Tower Insurance for a quick and easy quote. Often, you can add identity theft coverage directly to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance without purchasing a stand-alone policy.
Check Your Statements – Credit monitoring services can monitor your credit for new accounts, but they generally cannot detect fraudulent charges on existing ones. Make a habit of checking your bank and credit card statements every month, and report unauthorized activity right away.
Protect Your Business
It’s not just individuals who need to worry about cyber-crime; businesses do, too. When criminals gain access to sensitive consumer information via security vulnerabilities, it can create financially devastating consequences, from the instant liability to the cost of improving digital security and preventing additional infringements.
If you own a business, it may be time to add cyber-crime insurance to your commercial coverage portfolio. This can help ensure you are covered against a wide-range of costs in the event your business’s databases are hacked. Examples include:
- Business interruption
- Virus removal
- Legal assistance
- Fines and penalties
- Victim credit monitoring and notification
- And more
In addition to purchasing cyber-crime insurance, you can also help prevent company losses by implementing certain security protocols. In fact, these practices may even be required by insurance underwriters when you apply for coverage. Examples include:
- Cyber-security training for employees
- Software upgrades
- Third-party testing
- And more
For more information or to request your free cyber-crime insurance quote, contact our office today.