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We increasingly rely on the Internet to work, bank, shop and socialize. Our health and financial information is stored online and devices are connected to control everything from home security systems to thermostats and TVs. While convenient, these connections open the door for possible malicious activity. Help manage your cybersecurity risks with these tips from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
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Cybercrime is a criminal act involving a computer and a network. Cyber risk includes any risk associated with online activity, such as storing personal information online or completing online transactions. This includes damage to your or your business' reputation, financial loss or disruption to your life or your business operations.
Identity theft is the unauthorized use or attempted use of an existing account, use of your information to open a new account and misuse of your information to commit fraud. Identity theft insurance helps you pay the costs of restoring your identity if it is stolen.
Data thieves gain access to information from a variety of places including your mailbox, home and business trash, public dumps, public records and social media. Some criminals are after money but some also seek public attention.
You are at risk if you store personal information on a home or work computer, bank or shop online. Your data may have been compromised if you notice any of the following scenarios:
Regularly check your credit report to ensure you don't see:
There are basic steps you can take to secure your information and data.
Keeping your information safe also means ensuring your devices, including smart phones, laptops, desktops, iPads and other devices are secure:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers a Cybersecurity Checklist to help you protect your computer and money from online criminals.
The cybersecurity insurance and identity theft insurance market is growing and may be useful to you or your business depending on the types of information you collect and store.
Some homeowners' or auto policies now offer identity theft protection, which includes access to credit monitoring and repair services in the event of a breach. Note that this coverage only refunds the costs associated with restoring your identity. It does not cover loss if you used your credit/debit card to make purchases or get cash. Restoring other losses would depend on the coverage policies of your credit card company and bank.
Your insurance agent may be able to help provide more information about assessing your risks and whether additional coverage is needed on home or auto policies.
Despite high profile data breaches of large companies, small companies are also targets for hackers as they possess sensitive information but typically have less security than larger companies. Cybersecurity insurance provides coverage for compromised security or privacy breaches at work. Business cybersecurity policies tend to be highly customized and therefore, costly.
There are steps you can take to help secure your business:
Contact your state insurance department for more information. The FDIC hosts a wealth of information on identity theft website to report incidents and develop a recovery plan.