Data breaches dominated headlines in 2017, and there is no indication that 2018 will be any different. Hackers have taken down some of the biggest companies in the U.S. over the past few years, from Yahoo and Chipotle to Equifax and Target. In each of those cases, sensitive consumer information was exposed to cybercriminals, allowing them to abuse credit cards and Social Security numbers and sell them to other criminals on the dark web. It is possible that you were one of those victims – perhaps many times over. So, what can you do to protect yourself against data breaches that are seemingly outside your control?
Identity theft prevention requires vigilance and attentiveness. Without it, criminals can drain your accounts, run up charges on your credit cards, take out loans, get jobs, and even steal tax returns in your name. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize any damage to your personal finances.
Enroll in Credit Monitoring
Your credit report influences how much you pay for car insurance, security deposits, and interest on your loans. If someone opens fraudulent accounts or makes unauthorized charges in your name, your credit could take a hit. By enrolling in a credit monitoring service, you will get alerts when there is new activity on your report, allowing you to respond quickly and prevent additional damage.
Read Your Statements
Your bank and credit card statements come every month, but do you ever read them? Instead of simply paying the balance, take time to review the charges on your accounts each month and report any suspicious activity.
File Your Tax Return Quickly
If you typically wait to file your taxes until the last minute, you may be surprised to find that someone else has already claimed your return using your Social Security number. Avoid tax return theft by filing your taxes as soon as you have the forms and information necessary to do so.
Get Identity Theft insurance
Identity theft insurance does not pay for the loans or fraudulent charges in your name, but it can pay for your out-of-pocket costs involved in restoring your credit, removing delinquencies, and defending your good name. This could mean covering your legal service fees, the cost of travel, and any lost wages if you need to take off work to talk with creditors or meet with your legal advisors. If you do not have identity theft insurance, talk to an agent here at Mayville Insurance about how you can purchase a stand-alone policy or add this important coverage to your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance.
Protect Your Business
Your business could be liable for the exposure of sensitive customer data if hackers target it. The cost of recovering from a commercial data breach could be crippling to your company without the right insurance protection. Here at Mayville Insurance, we help local business owners get cyber-crime insurance that helps pay for:
- Customer notification of the data breach
- Credit monitoring for those who are victimized
- Virus removal for infected software systems
- Website reconstruction
- Business interruption
- Legal fees
- Punitive damages
- And more
As the risk of data breach seems to rise, insurers are implementing specific underwriting standards designed to reduce claims risk and minimize loss. That means your company may need to undergo audits, security training, software updates, and more to qualify for coverage. You may also need to develop an acceptable contingency plan to enact in the event of a data breach.
For more information about identity theft insurance or commercial data breach coverage, contact our office today.