Imagine filing your tax return and discovering it has been rejected because someone already filed in your name. Think of the frustration you would feel if you applied for a car loan only to be denied because someone has opened multiple accounts in your name and left you with delinquent balances you never authorized.
If these scenarios sound far-fetched, they’re not. In fact, people just like you face these types of situations every day, and you never know when you could be the next victim. With the recent increase in data breaches at major companies like Equifax, it is possible your Social Security number, and other identifying information is already circulating on the dark web. We here at Philleo Agency Insurance want you to be prepared for the worst with a few tools that can minimize the effect of identity theft on your finances.
How easy are you making it for cyber-criminals to borrow money in your name? If you are not taking proactive steps in monitoring your credit and keeping a close eye on your accounts, you might be leaving the doors to your financial identity unlocked without even realizing it. In today’s world, you almost cannot afford to be without a credit monitoring service. When you enroll in credit monitoring, you receive notifications when changes occur on your credit report. For example, you may be notified almost immediately of a new credit inquiry or of an account that has been added to your credit report. This allows you to quickly shut it down and take steps to dispute the fraudulent activity.
If you believe your Social Security number or other identifying information has been compromised, you may also wish to place a fraud alert or ‘freeze’ on your credit. With frozen credit, criminals will have a much more difficult time successfully opening a new account or applying for credit without your explicit approval.
Identity Theft Insurance
If an identity thief can damage your credit and make fraudulent charges despite your best efforts, identity theft insurance can provide backup protection for your out-of-pocket costs. This coverage is not designed to pay for the actual liabilities, but instead to cover the cost of combatting them and clearing your name. You can use this coverage to pay for things like travel expenses, time off work, and legal assistance fees when those costs are necessary in the fight against identity theft.
Identity theft coverage is sometimes sold as a stand-alone coverage solution, but it is often more affordable to simply add the protection to your homeowners or renters insurance instead. To find out more or to request a quick quote, contact an independent agent here at Philleo Agency Insurance today.
Protect Your Business
If big corporations can fall to cyber-attacks, your smaller business probably can, too. In fact, your business could be a prime target for data thieves who want to access the credit card numbers in your processing software or the customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and birth dates you store in your company databases.
There are several ways you can make it more difficult for data thieves to breach your company, and cyber-crime insurance underwriters may even require them if you decide to purchase coverage. These include:
- Training your employees on ways to prevent a data breach
- Allowing third-party testing of your software and firewalls
- Allowing periodic security audits
- Updating to state-of-the-art firewalls and anti-virus software
If you do not have cyber-crime insurance for your business, you could be at-risk of a major loss and liability in the event of a data breach. Commercial cyber-crime coverage can help pay for things like:
- Fines and penalties
- Legal fees
- Victim notification of the data breach
- Credit monitoring for victims
- Virus removal and website reconstruction
- Business interruption
- And more
To find out more about commercial cyber-crime insurance, contact an independent agent at Philleo Agency Insurance today.