Computers, tablets, smartphones and other connected technology are essential to everyday life for many Americans. The ability to stream shows and movies, produce videos for social media, shop for food and even attend classes from the comfort of your living room is convenient and makes life easier. However, connected devices can also expose you to a range of personal cyber risks.
“Cybercriminals are continuously looking for ways to exploit computer system vulnerabilities and home networks are popular targets because so many of our devices – phones, TVs, computers, even appliances – are connected to them,” said Jane Li, Mercury Insurance director of property management. “Mercury provides Home Cyber Protection, an optional coverage to financially protect homeowners and renters if they fall victim to a cyberattack. But there are also steps they can take ahead of time to help prevent one from happening in the first place.”
Hackers prey upon the unprepared, so the first line of defense is to secure your wireless network with a strong, alphanumeric password that’s only known by those in your household. Be careful with the sites you visit, links you click and emails you open while online. If you receive unsolicited messages from unknown senders via email or text, refrain from opening them – these can present a window to your personal information. Another best practice to deter entry to your devices and accounts is to power them down when not in use.
One more way to protect against hackers is to prepare for the unexpected. “Even the most vigilant individuals can experience a cybersecurity breach,” said Li. “Having coverage to help recoup financial losses that are brought on by cyber extortion or stolen personal information can offer peace of mind during an otherwise stressful time.”
Home Cyber Protection is an affordable solution – it costs less than five dollars a month and adds significant cyber insurance coverages for computer attacks, home systems attacks, cyber extortion and online fraud to existing homeowners or renters policies, including:
- Payments to recover data and restore owned or leased computers, mobile and connected home devices that have been lost or damaged due to a cyberattack.
- Payments and professional assistance in responding to cyber extortion demands.
- Financial protection from online fraud.
To learn more about Home Cyber Protection, call your Mercury agent today.