Protect Yourself and Your Business From Cyber Security Threats

Cyber Security Threats

You’ve probably read about data breaches at large companies such as Equifax, Target, and Home Depot as well as other types of cyber security breaches. But did you know that small businesses and even individuals are also at risk and can find themselves devastated by a cyber attack? In fact, Florida has the second highest number of victims of cybercrime in the U.S., and ranks third in the nation for frequency of identity theft, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

 

Phishing and Ransomware

Two of the most common cybercrimes are phishing and ransomware. Phishing refers to hackers trying to trick you into sharing your private information through an email or a webpage offer. Popular phishing schemes include emails that purport to be from your bank or credit card company, a friend in need of money, or threatening you for some unnamed illegal action.

 

Ransomware is malicious software (malware) designed to block access to your system and demanding ransom payment to restore access.

 

There are things you can do to protect yourself. These tips apply to individuals, employees, and business owners.

 

To protect yourself

  • Create strong, unique passwords. Passwords are your first line of defense against cyber criminals. DO NOT use the same password for all your login credentials. If you have a hard time remembering your passwords, download an app to store them.
  • Use extreme caution when clicking links or opening email attachments. Don’t click links appearing in emails if you have any doubt at all about their legitimacy, even if the email looks like it’s from someone you know. Be skeptical of any urgent requests for money or bank transfers.
  • Protect your personal information. If you get an email from your bank or credit card company requesting personal information, call the number on your credit card or statement to verify the request.
  • Look for the security lock symbol in the web address of any site that asks for your personal information. Click on the lock to check that it has an up-to-date security certificate.
  • Keep all system software up to date.
  • Install, update and run security software such as anti-virus and malware protection programs.
  • Back up and store data at a secure offsite location. 

 

One more tip, if you have your own business: Consider buying cyber insurance (also known as cyber liability insurance). Business owners policies may provide some coverage for losses related to cyber incidents such as a computer virus or hardware failure. However, to better protect your business, consider buying a stand-alone cyber insurance policy tailored to your specific business needs. Cyber insurance covers several types of risks including, loss or corruption of data, business interruption, liability, identity theft, cyber extortion, and data breach.

 

“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….” notes the III.

 

At Lakewood Financial, we take cyber security seriously, taking steps to protect both our business and our clients’ personal information. Please call us at 941-747-4600 if you need to discuss cyber insurance, or any other aspect of commercial or personal lines insurance.

Affordable Car Insurance for Your Teen Driver

Affordable Car Insurance For Your TeenYour teenager just got his driver’s license. How exciting—and how expensive!

 

There’s no way around it. Teen drivers do cause the family’s car insurance premiums to go up, because statistically immature drivers are at higher risk for accidents. Teen drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely to be in a crash than drivers aged 20 or older. The good news is Lakewood Financial is here to help you protect your financial assets while helping you find affordable car insurance for your teen driver.

 

Here are some ways to make adding your teen driver to your car insurance more affordable while still keeping your financial assets protected:

 

First, if you haven’t already added your teenager as a driver on your car insurance policy, now is the time to do so. If you don’t and he or she is in an accident, you may not be covered.

 

If you’re buying a car for your teen driver, choose wisely to avoid most expensive premiums. Save on premiums by choosing a safe vehicle that’s not too expensive or sporty.

 

It’s almost always more cost effective to add your teen’s car to your family’s car insurance policy so that you benefit from discounts like multi-car and homeowner’s. Another benefit is that your teen will be covered if he or she needs to drive another of the family’s vehicles.

 

Emphasize safety rules with your teen driver. The best way to keep insurance costs down is for everyone to maintain clean driving records. If your teen driver is also a safe driver, your premiums should eventually decrease.

 

Ask your insurance agent about all available discounts, including those for safety features, good student discounts, and for taking a recognized driver’s education course.

 

Make sure you have adequate liability coverage. That may seem counterintuitive, but insurance premiums are never as expensive as being sued! If your teen driver is at fault in an accident where someone is injured and your policy doesn’t have bodily injury coverage, you’ll be required to carry an SR-22. And if you only carry the state minimum, that may not be enough to protect you from a lawsuit. Depending on your assets, once your teen starts driving, you may want to carry higher liability limits, or even an umbrella policy. Your Lakewood Financial agent should be able to help you understand and adjust your needs for liability insurance.

 

Lakewood Financial is an independent insurance agency and we represent more than 40 car insurance companies. Let us find the most cost-effective car insurance policy for you and your teen driver. Call us at 941-747-4600 or email us for a free, no-obligation quote. We’ve been serving Sarasota/Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and surrounding areas since 2003, and we’d love to serve you!