Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been spending more time online than ever, both for work and our personal lives. We’re using a multitude of apps and online services on a daily basis, and spend unprecedented amounts of cash in virtual stores.
At the same time, the number of cyberattacks has skyrocketed. According to data by the UN, hackers have increased their activities by over 600% since March 2020.
“We’re now in totally uncharted waters, especially when it comes to hacking and identity theft,” Adam Levin, a cyber security expert, explains to Yahoo Life. “Breaches have become the third certainty in life behind death and taxes.”
Last year, not just the number but also the severity of successful cyberattacks increased. There were five breaches that each released over 1 billion personal records to the vast expanses of the dark net. Another 18 breaches leaked between 100 million and 1 billion records, which hackers can now use to commit identity theft and other cyber crimes.
The effects are already clearly visible. According to a recent report by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the number of cyber victims has already shot up 564% this year compared to the last quarter of 2020.
Considering all these facts, there are important questions we have to ask ourselves. How can we protect ourselves online? And: How to prepare for the worst-case scenario of becoming the victim of cybercrime?
That’s where cybersecurity insurance comes in.
How does cybersecurity insurance work?
On average, it takes 280 days for cybersecurity experts to identify and fix a data breach. This gives attackers plenty of time to extract, sell, and exploit your data.
Cybersecurity insurance helps you cover the expenses you face as a result of this.
Typically, it addresses both direct and indirect financial losses due to fraud, extortion demands, and the need for personal and home protection.
For example, personal and home protection coverage helps you if you’re the victim of cyberbullying, or if you have to replace one of your devices as a result of a breach.
The cyber extortion component covers you if criminals threaten to release sensitive data or use ransomware to commandeer your devices.
The third element of cybersecurity insurance – coverage of financial loss and fraud due to cyberattacks – helps you in a multitude of scenarios, including the theft of bank funds, or the fraudulent use of your credit information.
Finally, cybersecurity insurance is also an asset if you run a business. For example, if you’re a digital freelancer and suffer a breach, cybersecurity insurance can help you face possible legal claims for defamation, fraud, and privacy violations if client data is compromised.
Further advantages of cybersecurity insurance for your digital wellbeing
According to Forbes, the expanding cybersecurity insurance market also holds further advantages for people trying to stay safe online. Many policies include provisions to promote preventative measures and incentives to increase your level of self-protection.
They can also help minimize damage in the first place.
Many products include cyber monitoring services to quickly detect if you are affected by a breach.
Often, they also give access to fraud specialists. If you have been the victim of cybercrime, these experts can help you recover and resolve issues you might face – and secure your online life against future attacks.
Furthermore, most packages also include provisions to help you replace or repair data that has been affected by an attack, and to retrieve or replace financial or personal identification documents.
How can you get cybersecurity insurance?
Generally, there are three main ways you can get cybersecurity insurance.
First, you can opt for a home insurance policy that includes cyber insurance. The number of homeowners’ policies that include some cyber coverage is growing steadily, as people become more aware of digital security risks. However, in most cases, the cybersecurity provisions in these policies are very limited – so keep a sharp eye on exclusions.
Second, you can opt for a stand-alone cybersecurity insurance, or a dedicated add-on to standard homeowner policies. Here, too, the number of offers is growing steadily.
And finally, the third option is to acquire cybersecurity insurance as part of a comprehensive digital security and privacy suite. Increasingly, providers such as Aura offer all-encompassing digital safety packages that combine technical defenses like antivirus, VPN, and WiFi security, with elements like credit monitoring and identity theft insurance.
By comparing a few different offers and looking for synergies to harness, you’ll be able to pinpoint the best solution to guarantee your virtual wellbeing.