How confident are you in the security of your private information? Would you know what to do if your Social Security number, credit card numbers, driver’s license number, or other sensitive information were leaked on the dark web? As we close out 2017 and start a new year, we here at Stauffer-Klug Insurance encourage you to reflect on the major corporate data breaches that have made headlines this year and consider how you can better protect yourself against identity theft in the future.
Identity theft protection is as much as prevention as it is about damage control. You can take steps at home to prevent data theft, such as installing anti-virus software on your computer and checking ATMs and card-readers for skimming devices. However, there is little you can do to prevent hackers from stealing your credit card number from a retailer’s databases or to stop a criminal from lifting your Social Security number from your insurance company or even a major credit bureau like Equifax. Not to mention, once criminals have your information, they can use and sell it again and again, causing headaches and frustration for years to come. So, what can you do?
First, we recommend making a habit of reading all your financial statements as soon as you receive them each month. This includes scanning your bank statements and credit card statements for signs of unauthorized activity. If you notice suspicious charges, notify your financial institution right away.
Next, consider enrolling in a credit monitoring service that will alert you to changes in your credit report. If a new account or application for credit appears, you can address it right away. You can also place a fraud alert or ‘freeze’ on your credit reports that will help prevent criminals from opening additional accounts in your name.
Finally, be sure to purchase identity theft insurance. Although this coverage is not designed to pay for the fraudulent charges and liabilities created in your name, it provides the resources needed to clean up your credit and restore your good name. Identity theft insurance may be used for legal assistance, travel expenses, and lost wages while you work to restore your finances.
Protect Your Business
Companies have different types of risks than individuals when it comes to cyber-crime. If you own a business, you could be held responsible for the exposure of sensitive information if hackers can breach your databases. That is why most businesses need commercial coverage for cyber-crime that will help pay for the financial damages that could otherwise threaten the continuity of your business. Examples include:
- The cost of notifying customers/clients
- Paying for victim credit monitoring
- Paying fines and other punitive damages
- Paying to restore your computer software and remove viruses
- Paying ongoing business expenses despite an interruption to your business revenue
Here at Stauffer-Klug Insurance, we help local businesses add cyber-crime insurance to their portfolios. We can help match you with an insurer that will provide the coverage you need based on your risks and industry. In some cases, underwriters require businesses to meet certain requirements, such as undergoing third-party audits or training employees on cyber-security protocols. However, these preventative measures are merely a step toward loss prevention and could help you avoid a data breach altogether.
For more information about how you can protect yourself or your business against cyber thieves, contact our office today.