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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

Do I Need Personal Cyber Insurance For Cyberattacks?

Although the internet has made your life easier, there are definitely risks involved in surfing the web. There are many threats you face daily such as spam emails, hijacked websites, and compromised social media accounts which can cause identity theft and a loss of money. With all of the dangers on the internet, you're probably wondering if now is the time to invest in cyber insurance. Depending on your situation and risks, it could be a good idea to look into it. Check out this post to see if you need to get cyber insurance for yourself and your family.

What is cyber insurance?

Cyber insurance, also known as cybersecurity insurance has been around since 2017 was first created to cover the millions of dollars of damage companies suffer due to hacks and data breaches. Not long after, cyber insurance was created for individuals. . Most cyber insurance policies will cover damages and expenses related to cybercrime, including:

  • Identity theft

  • Cyber extortion

  • Cyberbullying

  • Data restoration

  • Ransomware Attacks

This coverage means if you accidentally install a virus on your personal computers and other tech devices, you will get coverage to pay for the cost of restoring your system and reinstalling your software. Your policy may give authorization of ransomware payments, which could help restore documents stolen by thieves. Your policy could also cover the expense of recovering from ID theft or the loss of data that could occur in a data breach. There are so many different cyber threats that it’s impossible to list them all here, but most cyber threats should be covered under a fully-featured personal cyber insurance policy.

How does cyber insurance work?

Most insurance providers offer personal cyber coverage as an addition to your homeowner's or renters' policy. You can also purchase it as a stand-alone policy. There are limits to cyber insurance. Many policies will only cover a total amount of damages per year and there is a limit to the number of damages that are covered for a particular event. For example, you may only get $30,000 for ID theft. Finally, there is a deductible you will need to pay for out of pocket.

Why would you consider cyber insurance?

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans have been exposed to data theft. If you've been under attack by online thieves, you understand the expense that is involved in recovering from a cyber attack. It can take countless hours and thousands of dollars trying to re-establish your credit rating and reissue official documents such as social security numbers and your driver's license. Also, if you have tweens and teens, the risk of cybercrime increases as there are many social media and gaming sites they visit on a daily basis that can expose your family to dangerous threats. Also, your children are more likely to fall for phishing, vishing, or smishing scheme.

Stopping cyberattacks is always your best bet.

Cyber insurance offers some good protection but isn't enough to keep you and your family protected. 99% of cybercrime requires user interaction which means as long as you don't click on strange links in emails, text messages and stop sharing your personal information on social media and those weird phone calls that come in, you will stay safe from most threats.

If you follow these six simple tips, you can avoid the vast majority of cyber threats:

  1. Quit clicking on links in emails and social media direct messages. If you don't recognize the email or sender, just delete it. Reach out and touch someone via phone to verify they are the ones who sent the email.

  2. Have automatic backups of your information. Many people fall victim to cyber threats because they feel they have no choice to get back their information in the event of ransomware. Services like Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and Carbonite will automatically backup your information keeping your data safe and secure.

  3. Stop using old-school passwords and use passphrases. Passphrases are a series of unrated words that form a secure password. Think 'WebSoup2084$" They are easy to remember and will help keep your accounts safe. Also, Utilize a password management system like the one in your favorite browser and never forget another password.

  4. Educate your kids about the dangers online. Monitor and limit their online habits. Everyone thinks kids are so smart and know everything about technology, right? Wrong! Your children are the weakest link when it comes to online safety. Parental control software can only control time limits and keep them from inappropriate sites. Sit down with them and share the dangers of online life. Check their devices once in a while to make sure they are doing what they should be doing online.

  5. Watch what you share online. Remove your personal information from social media sites. Yes, criminals scan social media to find out information about you to determine the best ways to exploit you and your family.

  6. Check to see what personal information from you and your family is floating on the dark web. With all of the large-scale data breaches on the web, there is a big chance your personal data is floating on the dark web. Web sites like let you look to see what information is floating out there. If you find you or your family members have been 'pwned' (geeks slang for owned), change the passwords to your online accounts immediately.

With technology and the internet part of your everyday life, you should always take the necessary steps to protect your family's personal information. A personal cyber policy can be part of your protection, but make sure you are taking steps daily to ensure your family doesn't become the next victim of a cyber threat.

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