Protect Yourself from Data Breach

February 10, 2015

Protecting your identity in the internet age is no easy task. Anthem and Target are just two major companies that have made headlines as the victims of malicious data breach attacks. Individuals and small businesses can protect themselves from these types of attacks with smart preparation and the right insurance, which is where Shepherd can help.
As an individual, you may already have identity theft protection coverage through your homeowners insurance policy. Talk to your independent insurance agent to find out. Adding coverage only costs a few dollars per month. Outside of insurance protection, there are a few other strategies you can employ to protect yourself from targeted attacks on your identity.
Strong Passwords
A strong password includes non-sequential numbers, letters, and symbols. Your password should not contain any words found in the dictionary, and should be different for each account you create one for. The more often you use the same password, the more at risk you become. Your entire identity could become compromised if one company’s security is breached.
Don’t Become a Victim
Never give out personal information via email. No reputable company will ever ask. If you question the legitimacy of an email, do not click any links in that email. Do an online search for the company, go to their main website, and contact their customer service department before responding to any suspicious email.
Your credit cards and bank accounts will always be a key target for identity theft. Monitor your accounts and report any suspicious activity immediately. Make sure you understand the risks of debit cards versus credit cards. Having money stolen directly out of your checking account can be a much more time consuming problem than disputing a charge on your credit card.

The big difference between an individual and a business is that unless you have specifically purchased a cyber liability insurance policy, you are NOT protected.

Protect Your Business
Publicly traded businesses make the headlines, but hackers are increasingly targeting small to medium sized businesses. The big difference between an individual and a business is that unless you have specifically purchased a cyber liability insurance policy, you are NOT protected. Your independent insurance agent should have already discussed this risk with you, but give them a call if they haven’t.
Develop Prevention Strategies
Analyze your risks and find the vulnerabilities in technology, people, and processes. Educate your staff about how to identify suspicious emails and require their passwords to be strong. One uninformed employee can undo the best-laid plans.
Crisis Management
Respond quickly and have a reaction plan set in place. Your first step should be freezing any account that was compromised. Then sign up for a credit monitoring service. If you own a business, you should purchase a credit monitoring for your customers. Know who needs to be notified when a breach occurs, and be sure to call your insurance agent if you have identity theft or cyber liability protection. The costs of a breach can add up pretty quickly if you don’t have the proper insurance protection.

Your Shepherd agent can help you find the right level of protection for your unique needs. Talk to a specialist from our commercial team for more information.