COMPUTER HYGIENE – WE ALL NEED TO DO BETTER
Do you wince a bit every time you buy something online with your credit card, thinking that your identity is at greater risk? In your business, no matter how small, do you understand your online vulnerability and do you have confidence that you have taken all the possible precautions?
Massive data breaches make headlines all too frequently, to large retail chains and government agencies – anywhere there are millions of people’s data stored in one place. Some take these breaches as a sign that there is nothing any of us can do to keep our online identities safe. This feeling is understandable but wrong.
For your family, some of our homeowners’ insurance policies include identity-theft coverage, which may include credit monitoring and assistance if your identity is stolen. Some also offer home-security audits and programs to determine whether computer systems are hack-proof. These programs could prove valuable especially for homeowners with substantial investments and access sensitive data on home and mobile systems.
Prevention, of course, is the best protection so it is crucial that one practice sound “computer hygiene,” by keeping anti-virus software up-to-date, creating unique passwords and changing them periodically and never opening suspicious emails.
For businesses, sound computer hygiene is more complicated. Here’s why.
While it is true hackers go after the “big fish,” they also look for softer targets – smaller businesses with weaker defenses. The most vulnerable businesses are those that accept credit cards, store customer information, and conduct business online or in the cloud.
For these businesses, it is wise to look into adding cyber and privacy insurance protection to cover liability for a data breach in which the firm’s customers’ personal information is exposed or stolen. These policies cover a variety of expenses, including notification costs, credit monitoring, costs to defend claims by state regulators, fines and penalties, and loss resulting from identity theft. The policies can also cover liability from website media content and other risks from business interruption, data loss/destruction, computer fraud, funds transfer loss and cyber extortion.
Reed E. Jones 631.324.0041 ext. 316 Rjones@amadengay.com