In today’s hyper-connected world, data breaches and identity theft are on the rise. It seems that no one is safe, with cybercrime affecting businesses and consumers in connection with businesses, banks, credit bureaus, healthcare systems, and even the government. Would you know what to do if your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other personal identifying information were stolen and sold to criminals on the dark web?
Here at Pagel & Associates Insurance Agency, we know how delicate your identity is and the importance of protecting it. We’ve put together a few tips for preventing and minimizing your losses:
1. Purchase Identity Theft Insurance Right Away
If you do not have identity theft coverage, contact an independent agent at our office. We offer identity theft insurance protection that helps pay for the legal, travel and other personal costs associated with restoring your credit and your good name. This is not coverage to pay for the liabilities created in your name, but it can help you avoid major out-of-pocket expenses if you need to take time off work, seek legal counsel, or even travel to set the record straight.
If you have a homeowners, condo owners, or renters insurance policy, you may prefer adding identity theft coverage to your existing property insurance in the form of an endorsement. As an alternative, you could instead purchase a stand-alone policy designed specifically for identity theft protection. One of our team members will be happy to assist you in determining which solution is right for you.
2. Monitor Your Finances
There are several ways to pinpoint the beginnings of an identity theft problem. To start, always open and read your bank and credit card statements, scanning them for signs of fraudulent activity. Next, consider enrolling in a credit monitoring program to keep track of your credit score and the activity being reported to the three major credit bureaus in your name. Credit card companies often provide free credit monitoring for customers, and everyone is entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.
3. Reporting Fraud Immediately
If you notice suspicious activity, report it right away. If you have fraudulent charges on your credit card, you may not be responsible for them if you report them promptly. Likewise, reporting and disputing erroneous information on your credit report could prevent damage to your credit score for years to come. You can even put a ‘freeze’ on your credit to help prevent criminals from borrowing money or opening new lines of credit in your name.
Protect your Business
Your business could be the target of cybercriminals – particularly if you store the private information of your clients or customers. Make sure you are fully insured against potential data breaches with insurance that covers:
- The cost of notifying victims
- Credit monitoring for your affected customers
- Legal expenses, fines, and penalties
- Interruption of normal business activities
- Computer virus removal and/or website restorations after an attack
- And more
Keep in mind that to qualify for commercial cybercrime coverage, underwriters may require a data breach contingency plan and implementation of certain security measures. Examples include:
- Scheduled software maintenance and updates
- Third-party audits and testing
- Employee training on security protocols and cybercrime prevention
- And more
To find out more about how you can protect your business and family against cybercrime and identity theft, contact our office today.