December 1, 2021

Cyber liability protection expands to meet growing threats at home

Home cyber liability protection covers many types of cyberattack and other online fraud.

Cyber criminals are attacking on all fronts — at work, at home, and through any internet-connected device. You probably know at least one person who has been targeted. So, how can you survive a cyber attack? First step: Get cyber liability protection now, before an attack occurs. If you have this coverage, recovery will much be less painful.

As financial losses from hacking and fraud schemes continue to mount, insurance companies have stepped up protection options to meet the rising demand for cyber liability protection at home. When attached to homeowner insurance policies, home cyber coverage offers an affordable safety net for anyone concerned with protecting their assets and identity from online threats.

More than 2 million people have fallen victim to a variety of internet-based fraud schemes over the past five years, according to the 2020 Internet Crime Report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). This adds up to more than $13 billion in total financial losses. Another troubling fact is that senior adults experience a disproportionate number of these losses. In 2020, with a total of $4.1 billion in reported losses, the IC3 found that approximately 28% of victims were over the age of 60 (approximately $1 billion in losses).

Cyber criminals adapt, expand attacks

Whether you are working at home, surfing the web, using email, or engaging with the world on social media, cyber fraudsters continue to adapt, finding new and more damaging ways to hit at home.

One of the most common types of cybercrime, according to the IC3 report, is extortion. And ransomware is one way for criminals to pull it off. Infection with ransomware happens when people fall for email phishing campaigns; or when hackers are successfully able to access servers and computers through flaws in a remote desktop protocol (RDP) or virtual private network (VPN); or when cyber criminals take advantage of software weaknesses. The hacker takes over your device, locking it down or encrypting your data, and holds it hostage until you pay the ransom.

After a 350% rise in ransomware attacks worldwide in 2018 alone, a 2019 Harris Poll found that 21% of Americans (that’s one in every five) have been the victim of a ransomware attack. Moreover, ransomware attacks have only increased over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. As people began working from home and now generally spend even more time online on their computers, cellphones and other mobile devices, cyberattacks have skyrocketed.

Two other major sources of cybercrime include personal data breach and identity theft. These can result from direct “brute force” hacking attacks, phishing schemes, fraudulent tech-support emails and phone calls, and many other scams. We all know someone who has been victimized. Perhaps it was a relative, or a neighbor, or even yourself.

Home cyber liability protection widens safety net

Many insurance carriers offer an option to add personal cyber liability coverage to homeowner or rental insurance policies. Coverages are available up to $100,000. Protection extends to computers, cellphones and other connected devices. Cyber liability protection now covers many types of cyberattack and online fraud, including those listed here.

Extortion — Get expert counsel on how to respond to extortion threats from ransomware and other attacks, and payments for devices, data, or systems held hostage.

Data Breach — Rebuild from a data breach, including costs to restore systems and recover data from malware and other cyberattacks on computers and connected devices such as cellphones, tablets, security systems, smart appliances, and Wi-Fi devices.

Identity Theft — Recover from identity theft and other online fraud by taking advantage of a help line, credit report monitoring, protection from unauthorized use of credit cards or account numbers, and assistance in restoring your identity.

Everyone is at risk for a cyberattack. Especially if you are over 60. Know that you will be targeted at some point (if you haven’t been already). Talk to your Bradish agent to find the best home cyber liability protection plan for your family’s needs. As online threats continue to intensify, home cyber liability protection offers reassurance that you will recover.

by Kris A. Mainellis