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What is Personal Cyber Insurance, and how does it protect you.

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Cyber crime is a growing threat. The Canadian Government has warned citizens to expect more aggressive cyber attacks, especially from hostile foreign characters. The stories of malicious attacks abound, such as the recent cyber attack of the Newfoundland Health Care Systems. By all accounts, cyber attacks are only going to get worse.

While many cyber attacks and crimes are focused on business, individuals also face cyber threats. If you are the victim of a cyber crime, you could face financial consequences like extortion demands, expenses to restore a stolen identity, legal fees for lawsuits, and even temporary living expenses due to cyberbullying.

In response to this growing trend, some Canadian insurance companies now offer personal cyber insurance to help cover some of these risks. In this blog, we shed some light on the topic of personal cyber insurance.

Why do you need Personal Cyber Insurance?

It is smart to mitigate your own risk from cyber attack by taking proactive action. In fact, we outline some of these preventative measures later in this blog. Regardless of your best efforts, if you are the victim of a cyber crime, you could face financial consequences. Examples of this could be extortion demands, expenses to restore a stolen identity, legal fees for lawsuits, and even temporary living expenses. A personal cyber insurance policy could help cover these expenses.

Cyber Attacks

Computers and connected devices can be exposed to nasty malware viruses simply by opening an attachment from an unknown email, clicking on online ads, or downloading unofficial software. If infected, you could face loss or damage to your files and systems – which could be costly to replace or repair. Personal cyber insurance pays to recover and restore systems affected by a cyber attack.

Cyber Extortion and Ransomware

Hackers don’t just target large companies and wealthy people. The fact is more and more people are becoming attractive targets because they often don’t have the knowledge or resources to protect themselves. Computer viruses and other malicious software have been around for some time. With ransomware, hackers restrict access to your data and then demand payment from you to release it. The latest targets are cloud-based systems like OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.

Ransomware viruses will threaten to damage, disable or deny access to files on your devices or systems. Personal cyber insurance covers you so won’t be out of pocket for payments and professional assistance in responding to cyber extortion demands.

Online Fraud

Today, it is hard to distinguish facts from fiction. One of the most common cyber attack tactics is an email that appears to come from a friend or family member, often promoting a fake offer. It might be a phony contest offer or requests for charitable donations.  These cyber scammers use a wide variety of tactics to try and gain access to your confidential information via email – often relying on the recipient’s trust. Personal cyber insurance protects you from financial loss due to criminal deception, identity theft and unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts.

Data Breaches

The contact information you keep electronically may seem harmless – like friends’ phone numbers, addresses and birthdays. But in the wrong cyber criminals’ hands, this information can be used for malicious intent. A personal cyber insurance policy provides added peace of mind in the event of loss, theft or accidental release of other people’s sensitive information stored on your personal computer or smartphone.

Be proactive and help prevent cyber attacks.

It always makes sense to do your part to prevent cyber attacks. Here are some of the actions you can take to reduce your risk of a cyber attack:

  • Change your important passwords regularly. Use a “strong” password that is at least 12 characters long. Use a secure password manager to save your passwords accurately.
  • Keep your devices and computers updated and install the latest operating system, especially antivirus programs.
  • Secure your Internet connection with strong Wi-Fi and router passwords.
  • Use two-step authentication for logins, such as your email and social media accounts.
  • Shop at online retailers you know and trust. Use safe payment options when shopping online. Credit cards are generally safer than debit cards.
  • Back up your digital information (such as photos, contacts, and financial and health records) by making copies of your data and storing them in a cloud service and hard drive.

Cyber attacks are not going away, and they are likely to increase in scope and prevalence. While you can not eliminate a cyber attack, you can take steps to manage the risks and limit your exposure. Personal Cyber Insurance is a great way to mitigate this risk. Contact your Bauld Insurance Advisor today to learn more and request a quote.  To learn more about protecting your business from a cyber attack please visit our Business Cyber Insurance web page.

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