With a seemingly never-ending wave of high-profile attacks rocking the tech world for the past two years, none of us can afford to be complacent about cyber crime anymore. But, while many of us understand the threat cyber crime poses, not all of us are sure where to start when addressing it.
Well, wonder no longer. The best way to protect yourself from cyber crime is with personal cyber insurance, an emerging type of insurance designed specifically for this modern concern.
Why should I be worried about cyber crime?
A few years ago, the term "Cyber Crime” sounded more like something you’d see flipping around the upper cable channels at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday night than something you’d worry about in your day-to-day life. But times change. As the internet has become a more and more integral part of our lives, cyber crime has grown, and will continue to grow, as a real cause for concern.
Broadly speaking, cyber crime refers to a variety of fraudulent and malicious actions perpetrated by way of a computer. This includes things like account theft (someone hijacking a private account such as something trivial like your Netflix subscription or as dangerous as your banking accounts), identity theft, fraudulent purchases made in your name, and so on.
As more of us wire our homes with connected devices such as smart locks, virtual assistants like Alexa and Echo, and smart appliances, the threat of privacy violations has also increased. A new type of cyber crime involves hijacking such devices to spy on you and your actions, either as a prelude to further criminal action such as a robbery, or in an effort to find embarrassing material to either blackmail or bully a person with.
There are other scams and acts of vandalism to be worried about as well. The number one cyber crime on the rise is "ransomware,” a virus that will lock your computer and encrypt all the files on it (making them irretrievable) unless you pay an "unlocking fee” to a criminal. It’s an extortion racket pure and simple. Then there are less sophisticated viruses designed to brick your mobile devices or ruin your computer. These are the virtual equivalent of someone slashing your tires or breaking you living room window just for the thrill of it.
All of these are seriously harmful threats that put your personal property, financial stability, and (if like many of us you depend on your devices for your job) even your livelihood at risk. Unfortunately, most of us are woefully vulnerable to these attacks. We don’t have any protection, and mainstays such as your homeowners insurance will not help you recover from this kind of specific damage.
So what can we do about it?
How personal cyber insurance can help
Personal cyber insurance is designed to help the average person defend against exactly this kind of attack. In the event of a cyber attack that causes significant harm to you or the members of your home, a personal cyber insurance policy will help compensate you for the damages and recover from the attack. This can include losses due to identity theft and fraud, assistance in dealing with ransomware or other lock-out scams, replacement for devices damaged or bricked due to a virus, and more. It can even help in instances of cyber bullying and internet stalking.
This help can be a lifesaver when dealing with a serious breech. Having someone in your corner to help untangle a fraud case or provide funds while your account is inaccessible can make the difference between frustration and devastation. Being the victim of a cyber crime will always be a burden, but with the right personal cyber insurance package, it doesn’t have to seriously damage your life.
The actual details of what a policy will cover differs from policy to policy, so it’s important to go over your options with an experienced broker. A broker will help you identify which parts of a policy are valuable and meaningful to your personal situation, and which are superfluous. This way you can be sure to get the protection you need at an affordable rate.
Cyber crime is going to be something that goes away. As our lives become more and more dependent on our devices and data, cyber crime will only become a more pressing concern in our lives. Don’t wait for a disaster to spur you to action, get ahead of the curve and talk to a Staebler broker about personal cyber insurance today.