Do you need Personal Cyber Insurance?
We generate and connect more data on a personal level than has ever been done before. Our phones can tell when we’re home, when we’re driving, when we’re almost out of orange juice, and when your next mortgage payment is due. In an era of cyber warfare and headlines constantly screaming about hacking, wiretapping, and dark-web credential sales, you may be tempted to get off the grid entirely or purchase insurance to protect you and your family in case you suffer from a hack.
Cyber insurance policies are usually reserved for corporations and business who need to protect their intellectual property, the identities of their employees, and some very sensitive financial information. For such cases, cyber insurance functions in tandem with the company’s cybersecurity measures to not only establish proactive measures against potential breaches and reactive measures in the event that a hacker breaks through the cyber barriers.
On a personal or familial level, your money would be better spent on taking reasonable personal measures than on an actual cyber insurance policy. For issues like identity theft, you can subscribe to such services as lifelock to get notifications in case of suspicious activities and frequently change your online banking passwords. Most credit card policies will reimburse you in the event of identity theft or something of the like.
You can do a personal audit on your present cyber security on your own and see where you need to bulk up your personal protection. A new website called Have I Been Pwned will run through any accounts you’ve made with a certain email address or username and see whether your information has been sold on the darknet. You can also go through and change all your passwords so that each account has a different password and that password is a random string of letters, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, you should make it so that your thumbprint is not a password for anything. As the laws are written now, the federal government can’t force you to hand over your password, but it can forcibly hold your thumb to a fingerprint reader.
You should also be especially careful of smart home devices. Internet of Things (IoT) items have proven to be incredibly hackable. If you have a smart refrigerator, light system, or any other item that is connected to your smartphone and email address, you could be at risk of a breach. You may want to consider using a dummy email to set up accounts on those items to keep your most sensitive information safe.
Personal cyber insurance policies also probably don’t really address the real problem. Most hackers don’t go after your average citizen. Hackers are either trying to hack a business, high-profile person, or a database that you happen to be a part of.