Over the last 12 months we have all heard about passwords being hacked, large companies like Yahoo having a breach, it never seems to end.  While the internet is a convenience, some may even say a necessity, it does provide avenues for our lives to go side ways.

One of  biggest fears that most people have is someone hacking into our computers and stealing information, or inadvertently giving away confidential information that could lead to identity theft.  But as a friend of mine said to me the other day, “I could not live without the internet.” That maybe an exaggeration, but many people feel that way.

As June is Internet Safety Month, I though it would be a good idea to share some tips I have heard through out my years.

Lock It Down

I meet a lot of IT and security experts in my business and many of them agree that you while you can’t totally eliminate the risk, you can drastically reduce these threats by following a few basic rules. Here are the main ones.

  • Install best performing security software — not just anti-virus programs but comprehensive suites that also check for spyware and hack attacks. Check the websites of magazines like www.pcmag.com for impartial reviews of the best.
  • Keep your passwords secret and use a different password for each site where you use confidential or financial information. These days, passwords should be at least 12 characters long and, if permitted, include character symbols like exclamation points. Worried about remembering them? Use a password manager application.
  • Be wary about clicking on links and attachments that arrive with unsolicited emails, even from people you know — but your security app should protect you against malware. Certainly don’t click on links in ‘spam’ messages.
  • If you receive an email or text that claims there’s trouble with your bank, store or other financial account, and asks you to call a particular number or take some other action, don’t respond. Instead, independently find the number of whoever holds your account and contact them separately to find out if there are any issues. Probably not.
  • If you have a home Wi-Fi system, you need to take extra steps to put it out of the reach of hackers. There are some useful tips here: http://tinyurl.com/safer-wifi but you may also need to consult your Wi-Fi router manual or get professional help.
  • Think carefully about the personal information you disclose about yourself on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Visit their privacy settings to control who gets to see your posts, how much information about you is collected and what’s done with it.

If you have a smart phone, you may need to take extra steps to protect yourself. Here’s an interesting article I clipped last year that might help: http://tinyurl.com/smart-sec

As news reports constantly demonstrate, it seems there’s no totally secure system, but the steps above will certainly help. You can also get help to offset the damage caused by hacking and viruses because, in many cases, it’s an insurable risk. If this is something that interests you, please get in touch.

The Big Sell

So you are yourself what does this have to do with insurance.  Well the first thing is if you are a Crosbie Job client we want you to be protected and safe.  In fact we never want anyone to fall prey to those internet scams.  The next thing if you are a personal lines insurance client you should be asking your insurance broker does your homeowners policy cover identity theft and to what extent.  If you are a business you need to make sure your cyber liability exposure is covered.

Its time to give the Newfoundland and Labrador Insurance Experts at Crosbie Job a call to review you policy.  Whether its a commercial lines exposure or a review of your homeowners insurance policy, we can put you at ease and tailor a product that suits your needs.  We want you to Sleep Easy! We’ve Got You Covered!

Why not give us a cal. Don’t waste a moment. Please feel to contact us for a quote. We are here for you.
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