Identity Theft Prevention

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Identity Theft


Don’t Be A Statistic Of Identity Theft

The thought of someone gaining unauthorized access to your most sensitive information might send shivers down your spine but identity theft is a very bona fide reality. In 2015 alone, over 13.1 million U.S. residents lost an estimated $15 billion to identity theft, according to Javelin Strategy and Research’s 2016 Identity Fraud Study. Not to mention in the last decade, over $100 billion has been lost due to the heinous crime.

Once your identity is stolen, it can be very difficult to recover from. Therefore, the best method to fight against it is to keep it from happening in the first place. Below are some tips to help you from your identity being stolen.

Be Vigilant

You might think that identity theft is done solely through sophisticated hacking and phishing schemes but it can be done by anyone you pass by on the street. Anyone who knows how to snoop properly, for instance, if you are at an ATM there might be people looking over your shoulder to find out what your PIN is.

If you are in a situation where you are sharing sensitive information in public, be wary about those around you, as it could result in a data breach.

Share Information With Discretion

Before you go and give your social security or credit card number over the phone, make sure that you trust whoever you are giving it to. If you answer a call from an unknown number claiming you have won some sort of prize and that all you need to do is give them your social security number, you absolutely should not comply. Just remember, it is better to be safe than sorry in situations like this.

Keep Track of Your Financial Statements

Whether it’s a credit card bill, a summary of your recent bank transactions or anything similar, you need to pay regular attention to these very closely. If you are checking them on a daily basis, then you’ll be able to catch worrisome activity earlier on and hopefully put a stop to anything sketchy before it is too late.

Make Strong Passwords

You are particularly vulnerable to theft if your bank account and email passwords are not secure with differing or tough to guess passwords. Many websites have special criteria when creating your pass code with more difficult requirements but you should still take it upon yourself to make your passwords as hard to guess as you can no matter what. Even the slightest modifications to an easy password, such as a certain number or special character before or after the original can make a world of difference. When it comes to your personal security, well being and especially when preventing identity theft you can never be too careful.

Shred Sensitive Materials

You shouldn’t underestimate identity thieves, nor should you overestimate them. They’ll do anything to access your personal and sensitive information, including but not limited to rummaging through your garbage can. If you have any documents even remotely containing any personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth or even your bank account information, you should make sure it runs through a shredder first before tossing it.

Only Carry Necessary Materials in Wallet

There are just some things that you should not carry in your wallet – even if it seems harmless. One of these is your social security card. Anyone who has a handle on this piece of paper can effectively mean theft of your entire livelihood. Keep this in a secure location at home with your belongings and make no exception. Also, if you have multiple lines of credit, it is strongly advised that you only keep one of each in your wallet at one time. If your wallet is stolen, multiple credit and debit cards mean there is greater potential for a thief to wreak havoc on you.

Ultimately, by just paying attention to those around you and keeping your sensitive information all to yourself, you can really deter anything catastrophic happening to you or your family.

Cyber Liability

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Digital security concept screen
Cyber liability in the recent past has become a common term to many. This term can be defined as the risk that an individual is exposed to when he/she transacts business over the internet, through other networks, or even through the use of modern electronic storage gadgets. Insurance can be purchased and “risk associated” security methodologies can be put in use to deter first and third party risks brought about by digital liability.

“First party” liability comes in when your own individual information is breached, for instance, a hack that results into exposing your own business secrets. “Third party” liability takes place when the clients’ or business partners’ details that you have vowed to keep confidential are breached. A good example is a hack that exposes a client’s financial statements.

A majority of businesses across the globe are taking a deeper thought over their cyber safety and security. This has been occasioned by incidents of information breaches by big business companies. Small business companies are particularly susceptible because their cyber security systems are not as advanced as big companies.

According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report of 2012, 70% of the victims were not specifically sought out due to their poor cyber security but rather were victims of exploitable weakness. Their database were easy to access. Evidently, insurance of both first and third party liabilities is very important in the modern day business world.

Importance of protection against cyber liability

Incidents of breaches can lead to massive losses of income as well as tainting individual or company reputations. A negative image may diminish a customer network base that will subsequently lead to little profit margins or in some instances losses. To avoid this one can procure a protection policy.

It is also in the public domain that some multi-billion business entities have been sued in courts and forced to pay hefty regulatory penalties, fines, and expenses due to third party breaches. Additionally, notifications expenses and computer money transfer frauds are other negative effects. These incidents have left many companies and individuals bankrupt within few hours or days without their knowledge. These occurrences can be avoided through the use of the right protection policy.

Typically digital policies cover both first-party and third-party liabilities.

First-party policy covers the following:

  • Forensic audit- involves the cost of hiring computer forensic experts hackerduring the first steps of suspicion of a data breach.
  • Business interruption and extra costs- it covers lost profits and extra costs occasioned by a data breach.
  • Computer and data loss costs-covers expenses of restoring lost information due to a hacker’s activities
  • Electronic fraud and theft protection- it covers the financial losses resulting from criminals who hack to steal money

Third-party policy

It covers the expenses of hiring lawyers, expert witnesses, and consultants to help defend your business from lawsuits by clients, shareholders and business partners who claim they have negatively been affected through exposure of their details.

Third-party policy coverage is also commonly sought after by many companies to offer defense against administrative and regulatory agency prosecutions, for example, the Federal Communications Commission. This policy covers punitive damages, penalties, and fines.