You’ve probably heard about the giant data breaches exposing the private data of more than 1 billion consumer accounts at companies like Equifax and Yahoo. No business is immune, from retailers and restaurants to government organizations and insurers. It may be impossible to prevent every cyber-attack, but you can fight back against identity theft with the right tools and resources. Continue reading to learn how you can protect yourself and your business against a data breach.
If your Social Security number, driver’s license number, name, address, and credit card numbers are compromised, there is probably someone waiting to take advantage of it. The dark web is full of cybercriminals selling stolen identities to one another, and you could be the next victim. Cleaning up your credit report, resolving fraudulent debts, and restoring your good name could take many weeks, months, or even years, not to mention big costs for legal fees, time off work, travel expenses and more.
That is why we here at Heinen Insurance recommend purchasing identity theft insurance to help cover the cost of restoring your credit after a data breach. Talk to an independent agent about how you can purchase a stand-alone identity theft insurance policy or add this important coverage to your existing homeowners, renters, or condo insurance.
It is always better to prevent a crime than deal with its aftermath. The following are a few steps you can take to minimize your loss after identity theft:
- Start by checking your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can do this for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you notice accounts or other activity that you did not authorize, you may be a victim of identity theft.
- Enroll in a credit monitoring program that will notify you of any changes or activity on your credit report. You might qualify for free credit monitoring if you were affected by a recent data breach. For example, the Federal Trade Commission reports that users who were affected by the Equifax data breach can obtain one year of free credit monitoring if they enroll by January 31, 2018.
- Make a habit of frequently scanning your credit card statements and bank statements for signs of fraudulent charges. You may not be liable for unauthorized charges on your credit card if you report them promptly. If you believe your Social Security number has been compromised, contact the credit bureaus to place a freeze on your credit. This will prevent future credit inquiries in your name.
Protect Your Business
Companies face specific challenges when it comes to cybercrime. Criminals are constantly changing their tactics to become more efficient and less noticeable when leaching information from corporate databases. That means that companies must be vigilant in their efforts to thwart cyber-crime, constantly staying one step ahead of would-be thieves. It also means purchasing commercial insurance that will minimize the financial effects of a data breach should one occur.
To qualify for cyber-crime insurance for your business, you may need to meet certain underwriting qualifications. For example, many insurers require you to implement loss prevention strategies that minimize the risk of a loss, such as frequent software updates, third-party testing, and specialized employee training. If you implement these protocols, you may qualify for coverage that will help pay for virus removal, public/consumer notifications, credit monitoring for victims, punitive damages, and more.
For more information about individual identity theft insurance or commercial data breach coverage, contact our office today to request your quote. We look forward to serving you soon.