Tips and precautions to ensure you’re not an EASY target.
Everyone is aware how prevalent cybercrime is today. There’s identity theft, phishing emails, phone scams, identity fraud and more. The reality is, you are likely already a target and it’s just a matter of time until you become the next victim.
The sophistication of cybercrime against individuals is increasing at exponential rates. According to Christie Alderman, Vice President, Client Product and Service Manager at Chubb Insurance, “We used to see that somebody would just steal a credit card. Now we see situations like people stealing your medical identification and your insurance coverage and going to get medical services under your name. Now their blood type is on your records”. This is scary stuff!
For families that prefer to take precautions, here are some tips to ensure you are not an EASY target:
Be wary of public Wi-Fi. Always use secure connections when connecting online in public places. If you must use an unsecure connection, never check your bank account balances or log into credit card sites. This information can easily be stolen over an unsecure network. It’s also a best practice to turn off Bluetooth and other connectivity features when using Wi-Fi in public places.
Turn off your home computer when not in use. While it’s convenient to leave your computer on all the time, an always-on computer is more at risk to hacking.
Get a spam blocker. Spam doesn’t just mean annoying ads – it introduces several new threats, such as phishing scams.
Install anti-virus software. Digital bugs are still the most common and damaging threat to most computers.
Don’t open unknown emails. Never open attachments or click links in emails from senders you do not know. Oftentimes, attackers will embed malware in these attachments or links. You may also receive emails that appear to be legitimate and from a trusted source. Look closely! Check the senders email address closely before opening any attachments.
Read the terms and conditions on apps you are downloading. Are they sharing information with third parties? Are you giving them permission to turn on your camera at any time? Are they allowing ambient listening? Know before you accept.
Use complex passwords and create a different password for each application or website. A complex password might include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Such passwords make it that much harder for an attacker to guess your password. Attackers are commonly able to compromise several accounts because users tend to use the same password for all their logins.
Never click on “Unsubscribe Me” links in spam and promotional emails. Clicking on “Unsubscribe Me” verifies that you are a live person. It’s better to label the mail as spam or junk mail. Malware/Ransomware may also hide in these links.
Always keep your operating systems up-to-date (iOS, Windows, etc). Updates have the latest security updates and patches. If you don’t update your software, you are exposing yourself to possible vulnerabilities identified in prior versions.
Limit what you post on social media. Avoid posting live status updates that let your adversaries know where you are and where you are not. This poses a risk to your safety and to the security of your assets. Consider delaying your posts until after your trip or event is over.
Some insurance carriers offer various cyber protection packages that are designed to help you assess, prevent, detect and/or respond to cyber threats. The coverage varies significantly among carriers, so always talk with your agent about what is covered. Here is a sample of a few cyber protection options available today:
Identity theft restoration. This is coverage that can be added to your homeowners policy, or purchased separately, and can protect your family members from identity theft. Remember the Equifax breach? If your data was compromised, it might be reassuring to know you have some coverage for helping you resolve what could be a nightmare if your credit is stolen or someone starts filing medical claims using your insurance.
Financial loss recovery. This coverage will reimburse you for losses up to a certain amount in the event of unauthorized use of your credit card or an unauthorized electronic transfer from your bank account.
Home cyber security audits. This coverage is typically combined with a more comprehensive endorsement extended onto your homeowners policy and provides an audit of your home network, devices, security protocols and usage to identify and help manage vulnerabilities.
Social engineering assessment. This coverage is also typically included in broader cybersafe endorsements that can be added onto your homeowners policy and provides an analysis of the publicly-available personal information that exists online about you. Vulnerabilities are identified and you are provided with an assessment of how the information could be used against you.
Data restoration. This coverage reimburses you for costs incurred for data restoration expenses after a cyber attack on you or your family’s personal computer system including wireless and mobile devices.
Full cyber monitoring. This is a policy that can be purchased annually where your data traffic is always monitored and protected by an elite staff of cyber security experts and includes concierge support for all your security questions.
Heavy reliance on technology can open the door to predators who use increasingly sophisticated tactics to access – and do harm with – your personal data. Don’t be an easy target! Take precautions, such as those above, and stay alert.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurance advisor.
Vulnerable and Oblivious: Cyber Risk in High Net Worth Personal Lines. Jacquelyn Connelly, Investment Advisor News.
Take a Bite out of Cyber Crime.WWW.bytecrime.org.
AIG Private Client Group, Coverage Extras for Homeowners.
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Managing Director, Personal Lines