The massive corporate data breaches that have affected U.S. consumers this year are putting more people than ever at risk of identity theft. Millions of people had their Social Security numbers and other private information compromised when Equifax was hacked earlier this year. Even if you were not one of them, there is a high probability that you will be a victim of a data breach eventually. Once criminals have access to your information, it can be sold time and time again on the dark web, causing damage to your credit and creating new liabilities in your name. Continue reading to learn how you can protect yourself and your business against cyber-crime in the future.
The first way to protect yourself is by purchasing identity theft insurance. This type of coverage is not designed to pay for fraudulent charges, but rather to help you fight to restore your credit and defend your case. It can help cover the cost of legal fees, time off work, travel expenses, and more up to the coverage limits of your policy. Identity theft insurance can be purchased as stand-alone coverage here at Carrigan Insurance, or our team can add identity theft protection to your existing homeowners, renters, or condo insurance.
Next, begin keeping close track of your finances and credit activity. Start by reviewing your statements every month for signs of unauthorized charges. You should also enroll in a credit monitoring program that will immediately notify you of activity on your credit report. Often, credit monitoring is made available for free if you have already been the victim of a data breach. However, there are other paid and free credit monitoring services available. If someone attempts to open an account in your name, contact the credit bureaus immediately to place a freeze on your credit.
Another important tip is to file your federal income taxes as soon as you can to prevent criminals from scamming you out of a tax refund. Likewise, if you receive a letter from the IRS, respond to it right away, as tax identity thieves may have obtained a job or filed taxes using your Social Security number.
Protect Your Business
As a Wisconsin business owner, having the right insurance coverage is essential to protecting your business against unexpected loss. More and more, business owners need to protect against the possibility of cyber-attacks – especially companies that store private information about their customers. If you have sensitive data about your patients, clients, or customers, you need data breach insurance that can help cover your liability, business interruption, legal fees, fines, virus removal, and the cost of offering credit monitoring to victims.
Most insurance companies have specific underwriting requirements that may vary depending on the size and industry of your business. It is not unusual for insurers to require a written contingency plan, as well as require your business to undergo special training, audits, software updates and more before extending coverage.
For more information about cybercrime, identity theft, and what you can do to prevent yourself and your business from becoming the next victim, contact our office to request an insurance quote and consultation today. We look forward to serving you soon.