No one is invulnerable to data breaches in the 21st century. In fact, they have become so commonplace; many people hardly bat an eye at headlines when millions of people are subjected to cyber hacking. As criminals on the dark web purchase Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and other information, there are steps you can be taking now to ensure you are prepared against victimization.
It sounds like a nightmare. You begin receiving bills from creditors for accounts you did not open and then find out your credit score has plummeted due to delinquencies on those accounts. You are unable to qualify for a mortgage on the home you’ve been saving for, and your insurance rates begin skyrocketing due to your poor credit rating.
Unfortunately, this is a scenario that many people are forced to live every day. While you may not be able to stop someone from using your information, you can make it more difficult for them to succeed at stealing from you.
To start, we recommend purchasing identity theft insurance from an independent agent who can sell you either a stand-alone policy or add coverage to your existing homeowners, renters, or condo insurance. Identity theft insurance provides coverage for things like travel expenses, time off work, legal fees, and other related costs while you work to remove fraudulent information from your credit report and defend your case against unauthorized purchases.
You may also be able to prevent extensive use of your information by enrolling in credit monitoring services. This can notify you of activity on your credit report. If you catch it quickly, you may be able to freeze your credit and prevent criminals from opening additional accounts in your name.
Finally, keep an eye on your financial statements each month. It can be easy to miss a few small charges on your credit card if you never read the statements. If you notice suspicious activity, contact the card issuer right away to shut down the compromised card and get a new one. As an added bonus, you may not be liable for fraudulent credit card charges so long as you report them in a timely way.
Protect Your Business
The business side of cyber-crime and data breaches is more complex than the personal side. There are extensive liabilities associated with exposing sensitive consumer data, not to mention the punitive fines and the cost of rebuilding the infrastructure of your business. Here at Couri Insurance, we offer comprehensive business insurance for data breaches that is designed to protect your company against the high cost of:
- Notifying customers of a data breach
- Legal expenses
- Punitive damages (fines)
- Virus removal
- Software updating
- Business interruption
- Credit monitoring
- And more
Insurers recognize the growing risk of data breach claims, and they also recognize that it is better to avoid being targeted than it is to clean up a mess after it has already happened. That is why insurance underwriters often require commercial clients to submit contingency plans, as well as create loss prevention strategies that include things like staff security training, third-party audits, software updates, and more.
If you own a business or you are interested in protecting yourself against financial loss due to identity theft, contact our office to find out more about cybersecurity insurance.