Cyber criminals continue to find new and more innovative ways to trick people into downloading viruses, or hack into IT systems. It is important to remember that cyber crime is not just about businesses – personal cyber attacks are just as common and equally damaging.
Personal cyber liability cover will usually be an add-on to you home insurance. It will protect you and your family who are in permanent residence with you.
Whilst a commercial policy may fall under your business insurance, or you could choose more comprehensive, specific cover to offer your business greater protection.
Are commercial and personal cyber attacks any different?
It might seem that the impact of a commercial and a personal cyber attack are similar – financial and reputation losses for example – but the emotional aspect is very diverse.
The personal trauma and stress experienced from an attack on your home life is very different to that experienced in a business – even for small construction and window cleaning businesses.
The important thing to note is that cyber crime can happen to any one of us.
Commercial cyber attacks on small businesses
Attacks on corporations are widely documented – with huge financial and reputational losses reported. However, as more investment is ploughed into IT security and staff training at the bigger companies, increasingly cyber criminals are targeting smaller businesses.
Research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that around two thirds of small businesses have been a victim of cyber crime in 2017-18. This is despite 93% of the businesses having some provision for cyber security.
The UK government commissioned Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, cites phishing attacks and impersonating an organisation in email or online are the two top cyber threats that businesses currently see.
These types of attacks generally rely on human error – someone being tricked into opening a link with a virus, or sharing company information as part of a scam.
Commercial cyber liability insurance might include provision for:
- Data breaches – With GDPR legislation, it is increasingly important to protect your customers’ information.
- Denial of service – Your business is disrupted through an attack on your network.
- Cyber financial crime – Your business finances are compromised following an attack.
- Ransomware – Your business information and files held to ransom following an attack.
- Hacking or phishing – Perhaps the easiest type of cyber crime, cyber attacks rely on your or your team to click on a link or share proprietary information with a fraudster.
Now consider the cost to your small business – you might not hold lots of personal data, and you might not have a big IT network, but you could still experience significant losses to cyber crime.
Personal cyber attacks
Personal cyber attacks are equally common and equally damaging. The scope of what is considered a person cyber threat might surprise you. They include:
- Cyber bullying (or defamation) – Online material shared by a third party that requires a specialist service provider to remove. This could be photographs without permission to share.
- Cyber extortion – As with blackmail, a cyber criminal could possess damaging of sensitive information that they are threatening to release.
- Online fraud – Fraudulent businesses or individuals may not make payment or send goods you believe you have legitimately purchased – often called sales fraud and shopping fraud.
Identity theft – Your personal details could be stolen online with a criminal using them to take out loans or spend in your name.
- Cyber attack – e.g. Hacking, phishing or social engineering. As with commercial cyber crime, individuals are equally likely to fall victim to personal cyber attacks. You could get a fraudulent email asking for your bank details, or with a link containing a virus, for example.
- Cyber media – A criminal could gain access to your social media accounts and post damaging comments as you.
Consider your costs.
Personal cyber liability insurance offers you financial protection
Consider the cost to you if your personal computer is hacked, your bank accounts are accessed leading to the loss of thousands of pounds, private files are held to ransom, or your social media accounts are compromised with malicious posts and comments under your identity.
A personal Cyber Liability policy would support you through these events and cover you for losses that your bank does not reimburse, as well as any hardware or software.