A 2017 article from Opstart.ca titled “13 Stats and Facts About Online Shopping in Canada” states that in 2016, Canadians spent $19.2 billion dollars on Internet purchases. That was a more than 65% increase from the 2011 number of $6.6 billion, and all indications are the totals will continue to rise.
Online shopping is fast and convenient, and provides shoppers with tons of options. It’s perfect for small businesses that would like to avoid the expense of a storefront, and ideal for those in a niche market who only sell a few items to a select target audience.
But what with hackers becoming better and better at their nefarious schemes, owners of e-commerce sites and online shoppers both have to be extremely careful. If you run an e-commerce site or even use your computer for shopping, we highly recommend cyber insurance and identity theft insurance. Both can be added to regular home insurance policies, and they can save your business. And your reputation!
Cyber Insurance and Identity Theft Insurance for E-commerce Site Owners
An e-commerce site owner is responsible for not only serving their customers, but also keeping their personal information safe. Unfortunately, e-commerce sites make easy targets for hackers, who are always looking for ways to gain access to credit card and banking information.
Ways to keep hackers away from your e-commerce site include:
- Always keeping your payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS) up to date. These are designed to provide merchants with a single set of criteria for keeping important data safe. All payment cards in Canada have adopted these requirements, which range from hiding card numbers in forms to properly training employees.
- Keeping your e-commerce software updated. Just like all types of software, manufacturers are always releasing new versions with patches to combat weaknesses that have been detected in their code and firewalls. Being diligent about updating is your first line of defense.
- Forcing users to create strong passwords with a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Purchasing an anti-fraud monitoring service. These will alert you if there is any suspicious behaviour on your site.
If the Worst Happens …
Cyber insurance policies can be configured to cover you for losses and liabilities resulting from:
- Privacy breaches (first-party and third-party)
- Phishing scams
- Internet extortion
- Breaches of cyber security
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
Identity theft policies include coverage for:
- Loan and credit card reapplication fees
- Government identification restoration fees
- Any income you lost as the result of identity theft
- Legal fees
- Credit reports (up to certain specified limits)
- Costs associated with notarizing documentation and/or affidavits
- Telecommunications and postal/courier services incurred during the identity restoration process
Shopping Online for the Purchaser
If you are the one doing the online shopping you have to be equally as careful as the site owner. When users and providers combine forces it makes it very hard for hackers to succeed.
- Check the URL of the site you are visiting. Reputable e-commerce site owners have secured sites that will begin with the letters https rather than just http. The “s” means that transaction information will be encrypted.
- Never shop online on an unsecured network. In fact, it’s inadvisable to even browse the Internet on open Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is very easy to break into, and once hackers have access to your device they have access to virtually everything about you.
- Always keep your anti-virus software and anti-spyware filters updated on your computers, mobiles and tablets.
- Use original and strong passwords.
- Learn how to recognize a phishing scam. Phishing is done by email and quite often the messages look like they are coming from a site you did business with. Check the email address to make sure the message came from a trusted source. If you are not expecting a message, play it safe and do not open it. Call the company to double check it is legit. And never, ever, click on links in suspect emails. This opens the door for malware to be downloaded and your information to be highjacked.
Trust Lane’s With All of Your Insurance Needs
At Lane’s Insurance, we offer low-cost identity theft and cyber insurance for Calgary residents and people throughout Alberta. A cyber security breach can strike anyone at any time, and even if you think you aren’t at risk, it’s better to be protected than to take an unnecessary risk. If you’d like to learn more about these insurance policies, or if you have any other insurance-related questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer complete solutions for all of your personal and commercial insurance needs.