January 28th is Data Privacy Day.

Millions of people are unaware of and uninformed about how their personal information is being used, collected or shared in our digital society. Data Privacy Day aims to inspire dialogue and empower individuals and companies to take action.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) officially leads the Data Privacy Day campaign and is advised by a distinguished advisory committee of privacy professionals to help the campaign align with the most current privacy issues in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

Most web and mobile device users may be unaware of bad online habits that could be putting them at greater risk for cyber attacks. So we have highlighted just a few tips below to help you protect your data and guard against online threats.

GENERAL 

Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses and other online threats.

Be aware of phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private information. DO NOT click on links or open any attachments from sources you are not familiar with. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.

Secure your internet connection. Always protect your home wireless network with a password. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious about what information you are sending over it.

PERSONAL

A recent survey by the University of Phoenix found that nearly half (43 percent) of U.S. adults have experienced a personal data breach in the past three years. Unsurprisingly, a greater number of those who had been hacked admitted to having a number of “bad online habits.” The survey found that 88 percent of respondents who had experienced a data breach said that they have at least one bad online habit, compared to 71 percent who had never been hacked.

Don’t use the same password across multiple accounts. If one account gets compromised, it greatly increases the chances of your remaining accounts getting hacked as well.

Don’t allow your credit card information to be stored online. If you drink and Amazon prime, you can always take advantage of their return policy. Getting your money returned after a hacker goes on a shopping spree won’t be as easy.

BUSINESS

Virtually all businesses use information technology (IT) in some way—to communicate via email, to provide information or services through a website, to store and use customer data and more. Your business can be held liable if certain data is compromised, not only by hacking attacks but even if a smartphone is lost or a laptop computer is stolen.

The risks of cyber liability are evolving rapidly, with new risks emerging as technology advances and new regulations are put in place. Insurance experts now consider the risk of cyber liability losses to exceed the risk of fraud or theft. In this tumultuous environment, your business can take several steps to limit risks, including purchasing cyber liability insurance.

What are your cyber liability risks?

If your computer systems are hacked or customer, employee or partner data is otherwise lost, stolen or compromised, the costs of response and remediation can be significant. Your business may be exposed to the following costs:

  • Liability—You may be liable for costs incurred by customers and other third parties as a result of a cyber attack or other IT-related incidents.
  • System recovery—Repairing or replacing computer systems or lost data can result in significant costs. In addition, your company may not be able to remain operational while your system is down, resulting in further losses.
  • Notification expenses—In several states, if your business stores customer data, you’re required to notify customers if a data breach has occurred or is even just suspected. This can be quite costly, especially if you have a large number of customers.
  • Regulatory fines—Several federal and state regulations require businesses and organizations to protect consumer data. If a data breach results from your business’s failure to meet compliance requirements, you may incur substantial fines.
  • Class action lawsuits—Large-scale data breaches have led to class action lawsuits filed on behalf of customers whose data and privacy were compromised.

You may be able to limit your cyber liability risk by:

  • Installing, maintaining and updating security software and hardware.
  • Contracting with an IT security services vendor.
  • Using cloud computing services.
  • Developing, following and publicly posting a data privacy policy.
  • Regularly backing up data at a secure offsite location.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has resources available to businesses that are aligned to the five Cybersecurity Framework Function Areas of:

National Cyber Security Alliance

https://youtu.be/VS7-WNH_FXI

For additional tips, you can visit staysafeonline.org.

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Use the form below to request a quote on Cyber Liability and Data Breach protection coverage.

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