Cyber-crime is on the rise, and you could be the next victim. If your private information is stolen and used against you, how much will you have to pay to clean up the mess? Unfortunately, this type of identity theft is becoming increasingly common. Just this year, the accounts of approximately 143 million Equifax customers were breached, exposing many Social Security numbers. That information could be sold on the dark web, where criminals can try over and over to open fraudulent accounts for years to come. Imagine the cost of taking off work, hiring legal help, and even traveling to clear your name.
The cost of repairing your credit and clearing up unauthorized charges could depend on whether you are a victim of existing account fraud or new account fraud. If you notice a few charges on your credit cards, the solution could be as simple as notifying your credit card issuer. You may be issued a card with a new account number, and you may not be liable for the charges so long as you report them in a timely way. On the other hand, the damage could be much more serious if you notice new accounts have been opened in your name. This typically happens when criminals attain your Social Security number, name, address, and other sensitive information.
Identity Theft Insurance
With the growing threat of identity theft, the average person needs insurance to prevent significant out-of-pocket costs after a data breach. Identity theft insurance does not pay for fraudulent liabilities, but it can help cover the cost of recovering from identity theft and preventing additional damage in the future. We here at Erica Boll Insurance can help match you with a stand-alone policy or coverage that can be added to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy.
In addition to purchasing identity theft insurance, you can also protect yourself against cybercrime and data breaches by:
- Regularly checking your account statements for suspicious charges
- Enrolling in a credit monitoring program that alerts you to unusual activity
- Placing a fraud alert on your credit if you discover an unauthorized account
Protect Your Business
In addition to your personal finances, you may also need to take steps to protect your business against a data breach. Cybercriminals often target companies since they tend to be rich sources of sensitive customer information, such as credit card numbers, pin numbers, or even Social Security numbers. Whether you have a small, single-location business or a large, multi-location company, your business could be the next target.
Here at Erica Boll Insurance, we typically recommend that businesses purchase commercial cyber-crime insurance that provides financial protection for costs related to a data breach, such as:
- Victim notification
- Victim credit monitoring
- Punitive damages
- Business interruption
- Legal help
- Virus removal
- And more
With a quick visit to our office and the implementation of insurance underwriter requirements, your business could be covered against cyber-crime. Depending on your industry and the size of your business, expect the insurer to require certain loss-prevention measures, such as audits, software updates, and professional security training for your employees.