Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the threat cyber-crime poses to financial identity. Headlines are constantly breaking about new data breaches, many of which have exposed the private information of millions of people. Most people in the U.S. have been affected by a corporate data breach in some way, and if you haven’t yet, you probably will. While you may not be able to stop it from happening, there are ways of fighting back. Continue reading to learn how you can protect yourself and your business against the next big data breach.
Typically, when identity thieves steal your personal information, they are after one thing – your money. You can better protect yourself by making it harder for them to succeed in charging to your existing accounts or taking out new loans and credit cards in your name.
To start, we recommend checking your credit card and bank account charges often for signs of suspicious activity. You probably already review your statement each month, but you can check your account charges more frequently by logging into your online banking at least once per week. If you notice new charges that you did not authorize, notify for your financial institution right away so your compromised credit card number can be closed, and a new account number can be issued.
Next, we recommend enrolling in a third-party credit monitoring service. You may already be eligible for free credit monitoring if you were a previous victim of a corporate data breach, such as the Equifax hack of 2017. These services are supposed to notify you of changes in your credit report that could indicate your Social Security number has been compromised. If you discover new accounts, a new job, a change of address, or other unusual activity, you can place a fraud alert or a ‘freeze’ on your credit report to make it more difficult for identity thieves to apply for credit in your name.
Finally, double-check to ensure your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance includes coverage for identity theft. Though it does not pay for fraudulent liabilities, it does help cover the cost of restoring your credit and clearing your name if you are victimized. Considering many identity theft victims spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars out-of-pocket attempting to recover from fraud, this important coverage could provide tremendous savings should you ever need to file a claim.
If you do not have identity theft coverage, talk to an agent here at Harnish Insurance Group to request your free quote.
Protect Your Business
If you own a business, you are probably well-aware of the threat a data breach could pose to your business. In fact, you may be implementing your own preventive protocols to help stave off an attack and better protect the sensitive information stored in your company’s databases. However, it is impossible to create an infallible system that is not susceptible to cyber-crime. If hackers creep into your company’s digital files, make sure you are protected against the financial fallout.
For most businesses, that means purchasing commercial cyber-crime insurance. This coverage is designed to alleviate companies of the liability, interrupted cashflow, and recovery costs associated with a data breach. To qualify for coverage, businesses may need to meet certain underwriting stipulations, which may include a contingency plan requirement, regular software updates, staff security training, and third-party audits.
If coverage is issued, it is likely to cover a wide range of cyber-crime damages, such as:
- Victim credit monitoring
- Software cleanup and website reconstruction
- Legal expenses
- Business interruption
- And more
If you think your business may be vulnerable to a cyber-attack, now is the time to act. Contact the team here at Harnish Insurance Group for more information and to request a quote. We look forward to serving you soon.