There is no way to stop identity theft; it happens every day. Despite the best efforts of businesses to build strong firewalls and install the most vigilant anti-virus software, hackers are still capable of taking down even the biggest companies and exposing the sensitive customer information in their databases. The past two years saw many high-profile cases, including Yahoo and Equifax. Chances are you were affected by at least one of those, if not both. So what can you do to protect yourself against the damaging effects of identity theft?
First, you should understand what type of information has been compromised and how it might be used against you. For example, if you receive a notification that your credit card number may have been compromised after a cyber-attack on a retailer you shop with, keep a close eye on that account for signs of suspicious activity and fraudulent charges. On the other hand, if you think your Social Security number was exposed, recognize that the consequences could be more severe. With that information, criminals may be able to open entirely new accounts and take out loans in your name.
Enroll in Credit Monitoring
Consider arming yourself with a tool that can make it easier to identify fraudulent activity as soon as it happens. Credit monitoring services provide alerts and notifications when someone applies for credit, opens an account, or reports a new address or job on your credit report. Quick notifications allow for a rapid response, which may yield better results.
Freeze Your Credit
Freezing your credit makes it more difficult for criminals to successfully apply for credit in your name. Taking this action locks access to your credit and requires your direct approval for new accounts.
Get Identity Theft Insurance
Identity theft insurance protects you against extensive secondary losses while trying to restore your good name. You can use it to pay for things like legal fees, travel expenses, and even time off work while you work to remove fraudulent liabilities and recover your credit. You just cannot use it to pay for the actual liabilities created in your name.
If you do not have identity theft insurance, getting coverage is as simple as contacting your independent agent here at Killey Insurance. We can offer you a stand-alone policy or add the coverage directly to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance.
Protect Your Business
If you own a business, you already know that cyber-security is an ongoing effort. You probably spend time updating your software, installing firewalls, and training your employees on how to keep client files safe and secure. If data hackers are still able to breach your systems, though, make sure you have cyber-crime insurance to help prevent major losses.
Cyber-crime insurance helps pay for a wide range of expenses after a data breach. This can include the cost of virus removal and rebuilding a compromised website, as well as the cost of notifying any customers if their information may have been exposed. It can even help pay for liability expenses, such as credit monitoring, as well as legal fees and fines.
When applying for coverage, underwriters may review your company’s loss-prevention strategies and contingency plan. Your business may also need to submit to specific security protocols, such as occasional audits and third-party testing.
If you do not have identity theft or cyber-crime insurance, the team here at Killey Insurance is ready to help. Give us a call today to request your free quotes. We look forward to serving you soon.