Identity theft becomes a bigger problem by the day, and the incessant corporate data breaches are only feeding the problem. If you checked the news anytime in 2017, chances are you saw headlines about at least one of the major data breaches that happened during the year. In fact, you may even be a victim of them yourself, which puts you at an elevated risk of identity theft. Don’t wait for cybercriminals to sell your credit card and Social Security numbers on the dark web. Act now to protect yourself against financial losses caused by identity theft.
If you want to protect yourself against identity theft, you need to know what is at stake. Criminals can leverage your information for many different purposes, from credit card charges to opening new accounts in your name. They may even use your Social Security number to get a job and file for your tax return. You can shred sensitive documents and install anti-virus software on your computer, but there is no way to prevent exposure of your information via corporate data breaches. Instead, shift your focus to what you can control – your losses.
Purchase Identity Theft Insurance
First and foremost, you need to protect yourself with an identity theft insurance policy. This type of coverage can help pay for your secondary losses incurred while trying to restore your credit and remove fraudulent liabilities. It will not pay for the unauthorized charges or primary financial losses, but it can cover things like lost wages and phone calls while you contact creditors, as well as the cost of hiring legal assistance or traveling when necessary.
Identity theft insurance can be purchased as a stand-alone policy, but you may find it easier to simply add it to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance policy instead. Talk to an agent here at Feivor Insurance for more information or to request a quote.
Enroll in Credit Monitoring
Credit monitoring services can alert you to fraud long before you might catch it on your own. That is because these companies are constantly checking for unusual changes in your credit report, such as a substantially higher balance, a new loan, or a new credit inquiry. It may also detect a change in address or a new job. Of course, it cannot stop fraud from happening, but it can give you a leg up on the damages so that you can take appropriate action. If you happen to notice unauthorized activity on your credit report or determine that your Social Security number has been compromised, consider putting a ‘freeze’ on your credit that will require your direct approval before new credit can be issued.
Check Your Statements
Finally, make a habit of checking your financial statements regularly for suspicious activity. In many cases, consumers are not liable for fraudulent credit card charges so long as it is reported promptly.
Protect Your Business
Protecting your business is a never-ending job. You probably already have substantial insurance coverage to protect your investment against losses and liability, but there could be a coverage deficiency hiding in plain sight. Imagine finding out that your computers had been hacked, and cybercriminals got away with hundreds of your customers’ credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and addresses. You are now liable for notifying the customers of the breach and potentially paying for their credit monitoring. You may also be subject to punitive fines, all the while experiencing a business interruption while you work to remove the virus and secure your software.
If this scenario sounds like a nightmare, keep in mind that it is a reality for business owners nationwide. That is why we here at Feivor Insurance recommend purchasing commercial cyber-crime insurance to help protect your company against data breach losses.
If you apply for coverage, underwriters may want to see your contingency plan in the event of a data breach. You may also be asked to come up with a strategy for preventing a loss, which may include frequent software updates, audits, testing, and cyber-security training for your staff. By implementing these tools, you can minimize the chances of a data exposure and also reduce your company’s losses in the event of an attack.
Find out more about cyber-crime insurance by contacting the team here at Feivor Insurance today.