tail – Life, Business, Auto, Health, Travel and Home Insurance

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We are passionate about the insurance industry. Our primary goal is to become your one-stop-shop for everything insurance. We work with various insurance companies, agents, brokers, marketers, and blogs to ensure we serve you better. Whether you want to learn about aviation, auto, business, boat, disability, farm, health, home, life, travel, yoga, or plumbing insurance, we’ve got you covered. For inquiries, send us an email to mytopinsuranceblogs@gmail.com



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The Five Year Equity Rule and Other Smart Moves for new Homeowners

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The Five Year Equity Rule and Other Smart Moves for new HomeownersFor new homeowners, if you managed to buy a house in today’s market, you definitely have a lot to celebrate. So now what? Well, whether you just purchased your dream home and plan to stay in it forever, or a property you hope to use as a stepping stone to better things, there are a few things you need to know in order to make your investment work for you.

What is equity?

Equity is essentially the amount of your home that you own and is calculated by subtracting the amount you still owe (or that the bank owns) from its value. The more equity you have in your home, the more leverage you have to take out a home equity loan or sell the property at a profit.

What’s the Five-Year Equity Rule?

The Five-year Equity Rule is a guideline that will help you make the most of your property investment. Essentially, experts suggest that owners build equity for approximately five years before trying to sell, refinance, or take out a home equity loan. Otherwise, you may end up losing money on those transactions.

Do I really have to wait 5 years to do anything with my home?

The Five Year Equity rule is just a guideline. You may be in a strong position to refinance or sell earlier than that, or you may have to wait a year or two longer. The point is that when you purchase a home, it’s important to consider your long-term goals and be ready to put in the time and money it takes to get a meaningful return on your investment.

How can I build home equity?

You can start by putting down as much as you can for a down payment. After that, it’s pretty simple: make your payments on time (pay extra if you can), and be patient. Like with any major loan, it will take some time for you to stop paying interest and fees and start actually getting at the principal. In addition, it’s likely that your home’s value will increase naturally, especially if the housing market continues to grow the way it has been in recent months.

Are there other ways to build home equity?

We’re glad you asked! You can definitely build equity by making improvements and upgrades to your home, and just by taking good care of the property, inside and out. Schedule regular maintenance on the important stuff, like your heating and cooling system, plumbing, roof, lawn care, and the like. Even a professional cleaning and a new coat of paint can add value to your home. Finally, if you have the money, consider investing in minor or major remodeling projects where they are most needed.

For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.

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Start the New Year with a Personal Policy Checkup

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With the turning of the calendar, it’s time to start taking inventory on everything from personal habits to household budgets to — you guessed it — insurance coverage. As you start tackling your list in the new year, remember to review and update your insurance policy — especially if you received valuable gifts during the holiday season. 

What is and isn’t covered? 

Many people are surprised to discover that unendorsed homeowner policies have limits on coverage* for theft of certain types of personal items including jewelry, watches, furs and firearms. A common limit for theft of jewelry, watches, furs, precious and semi-precious stones on a homeowners policy is $1,500. Your policy deductible does apply to this type of loss. If you misplace any of these items (as opposed to a loss by theft), you may not be covered at all under your normal insurance coverage. Coverage for items like coins and stamps can be limited to a special limit of coverage no matter what the cause of damage is.

What additional coverage options are available? 

Scheduled personal articles endorsements are additional coverages that insure a particular item on your policy at a specific amount. Not only does a personal articles schedule provide broader coverage and increase the limit of coverage for valuable item loss, in most cases it does not include a deductible. 

If you experience a loss, additional coverage for certain property items can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The more accurate and updated your policy and coverages are, the easier it is for your claims to be handled quickly and efficiently.

Next steps: 

  • Take inventory of your belongings. Make a list of valuable items that you own. Remove any items you longer own from any existing scheduled property endorsements. 
  • Have your valuables appraised. Obtaining appraisals on items like jewelry, furs, watches and firearms is the best way to determine the current value of those goods. Getting valuables appraised periodically also helps keep them properly insured as the market and inflation ebb and flow.
  • Take photos and/or record videos of your valuables and receipts. These images can be helpful in the event of loss tied to a catastrophe like a tornado or a house fire. Save images to the cloud so that they are safely stored and accessible. 
  • Meet with your agent to review which types of additional coverage are right for you. Your independent agent may request an appraisal for some items to ensure that there is no discrepancy in the value or replacement cost of the property.
  • Consider including coverage for items such as electronics, musical instruments and artwork. Cell phones, laptops, cameras and many other types of property can also be insured on a personal articles coverage endorsement.

Looking for more? Check out:

*The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.

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National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month

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Once every 43.8 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Thefts like these cost millions of dollars for owners and insurers, and cause insurance premiums to skyrocket – making everyone a victim.

Every July, the NHTSA hosts National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is urging consumers to help put the brakes on auto theft.

For over 100 years, the NICB has fought to protect the public from auto theft. But as NICB developed its fraud fighting techniques, criminals have developed their skills. Data from 2020 shows a dramatic increase in auto theft. In fact, there were over 873,000 thefts, with the majority taking place after May 2020. While the increase in thefts can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, auto theft can at any time.

To prevent yourself from becoming the next victim, the NICB recommends you follow these four layers of protection:

  • Vehicle owners should always remove ignition keys or fobs from the vehicle, lock doors and windows, and park in well-lit areas.
  • Utilize your vehicle’s anti-theft features. Whether factory installed or after-market there are a number of devices designed to lessen the risk of having your vehicle stolen.
  • Many modern vehicles come factory equipped with an immobilizer – an electronic system designed to prevent unauthorized keys from starting your vehicle. The immobilizer is designed to detect that a proper key is being used to start your vehicle. If the system doesn’t detect the properly coded key, it prevents the vehicle from starting.
  • Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner, and the vehicle can be tracked through a computer or cell phone.

The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it will be to steal.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on the NICB website.

Content courtesy of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

Copyright © 2021 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

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We’re headed to the Insurance Leadership Forum with some big news…

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CIAB’s Insurance Leadership Forum kicks off tomorrow in Colorado Springs and our team is looking forward to spending time with our agents in attendance. This year is especially exciting for us as it comes on the heels of a major announcement about where Central is headed in the months and years ahead as a part of our ongoing commitment to excellence.

Central is bringing a portfolio of better, bigger and smarter products on top of our existing appetite. We’ve built four commercial lines industry verticals—construction, manufacturing, real estate and transportation. We’re also building the world’s finest small business operating unit. Within personal lines, we will focus all our resources on the middle market and affluent segments.

We’ve also hired a team of superstar commercial lines directors to oversee each of our verticals (get to know them by checking out their bios below). They are dedicated to bringing you more products to sell, paving the path for new product development. 

This evolution is yet another way we’re aligning with you, our agent partners. We recognize that your needs are continually growing and changing. Our close relationships with our agents position us to continually explore ways we can adapt and scale alongside you, embracing opportunities to innovate new products that meet your growing and diverse needs. 

While we are leveraging our expertise to grow in these verticals, we remain dedicated to the driving force behind our 145 years of success: relationships built on trust and genuine care. We will continue to support these relationships with the existing appetite you have come to rely on from Central. 

We look forward to seeing you in Colorado Springs!

Manufacturing
Anne Russo
Industry Experience: 25+ years

What trend, topic, need or opportunity are you most excited about within your vertical?

Improving our technology and data to streamline the process so that our underwriters can put their skills and experience to use on larger, more complex accounts. 

What’s the most memorable, wild or unusual claims story you’ve ever heard?

The insured was a florist and this was a claim under Florist’s Professional Liability Coverage. A customer ordered flowers for his girlfriend, but they were mistakenly delivered to his wife. Chaos ensued.

What are people often surprised to learn about you?

One of my first jobs in high school was working at a gas dock at a marina on Lake Erie. I learned that it takes two hours to fill up a 75-foot yacht with diesel — and with no automatic shut-off, you’d better get good at listening for when it’s full.

What’s a cause, organization or nonprofit you’re passionate about supporting?

Anything related to animal welfare and the bond between animals and humans. The Humane Society of Delaware County, various animal rescues, Pilot Dogs.

Real Estate
Brian Mowry
Industry Experience: 14+ years 

What trend, topic, need or opportunity are you most excited about within your vertical?

The large-scale shift from a traditional office work environment to flexible work locations. How does this evolve both residential and office exposures into the future?

What’s the most memorable, wild or unusual claims story you’ve ever heard?

Multi-million dollar smoke loss on a high-rise condo building caused by a job site fire next door. The damage and cleanup required providing housing for 50% of the unit owners for six months. The neighboring site was a total loss, with exterior damage to the highrise that took over a year to correct.

If Central hosted a talent show, what would your talent be?

“Punny” dad jokes 

What’s a cause, organization or nonprofit you’re passionate about supporting?

Shriners Hospitals

General & Small Business
Brandon Corum
Industry Experience: 13 years, all with Central

What trend, topic, need or opportunity are you most excited about within your vertical?

Digital transformation

What’s the most memorable, wild or unusual claims story you’ve ever heard?

A church claim. We had to have police officers guard the doors to the preschool while work was being
done, and the city had to shut down roadways for rebuilding.

What are people often surprised to learn about you?

I enjoy not having a blueprint when building something.

What’s a cause, organization or nonprofit you’re passionate about supporting?

American Diabetes Association

Transportation
Jason McConkey 
Industry Experience: 11 years 

What trend, topic, need or opportunity are you most excited about within your vertical?

Developing and deploying our specialized underwriting.

What’s the most memorable, wild or unusual claims story you’ve ever heard?

There was a rental car company on Maui that applied for insurance, which we declined. One of the claims ended up being for a car that drove straight off the road into the ocean on the Road to Hana. I believe everyone was ok, but this just shows the importance of being able to control who drives your vehicles.

What are people often surprised to learn about you?

Personally, I can sing a bit of opera. Professionally, people are surprised to learn that I got my MBA at the University of Hawaii.

What’s a cause, organization or nonprofit you’re passionate about supporting?

Serious Fun Children’s Network, which is a global community of 30 camps and programs for seriously ill children. All camps and programs offer free recreational experiences to children with serious illnesses and their family members.

Construction
James Barto
Industry Experience: 19 years, 15 with Central

What trend, topic, need or opportunity are you most excited about within your vertical?

Developing our underwriting expertise in Construction. 

What’s the most memorable, wild or unusual claims story you’ve ever heard?

I have two. Had an insured whose pipe burst because of cold weather. They were notified by the police so they could go out and shut off the water. When they got to the building, they looked around for the shut-off for an hour while the water was still flowing. They later discovered that the police officer had parked his cruiser over the top of it. 

The second: had a jazz bar as an insured. It looked like a fairly normal operation until we received a claim related to a fatality that occurred as a result of a poorly executed pile driver performed at a wrestling event adjacent to the premises. Turned out the jazz bar was sponsoring the wrestling event.

What are people often surprised to learn about you?

I can be a wealth of obscure facts, particularly when it comes to sports, geography and history.

What’s a cause, organization or nonprofit you’re passionate about supporting?

I’m very active in my church. I also support The Salvation Army and other organizations to help the less fortunate.

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Tips for Staying Warm on a Budget

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' . htmlspecialchars( $aNewBlogPost['META_TITLE'] ) . 'Winter is coming, and with increased costs on gas, food, and just about everything else, it’s no surprise that your energy bill might threaten to strain your budget this season, too. But there’s actually a lot you can do to stay cozy and warm and reduce your energy consumption this winter. Here are some ways to save on heating.

Tip #1: Take Inventory

A good energy plan starts with a good energy audit. This means examining how your home uses energy and locating those areas where you can implement changes to make your home more efficient. Many energy companies will conduct a professional assessment, free of charge. If your local utility company does not offer this service, here are a few things to look for:

  • Leaks in windows or door frames, where cold air is getting in
  • Poor quality windows or insulation
  • Filters that need replacing
  • Find a thorough do-it-yourself home energy audit list at Energy.gov

Tip #2: Repair Air Leaks

Depending on where the leak is coming from, use caulk, insulation, wood, or other materials to take care of unwanted airflow. Even if you can’t afford to completely fix the problem, covering the leak with plastic or an inexpensive fabric draft blocker (underneath a door, for example) can make a big difference.

Tip #3: Replace faulty windows or insulation

If you can afford to do it, installing energy-efficient windows or improving your home’s insulation will go a long way in slashing your heating costs.

Tip #4: Program your thermostat

You might be surprised at how much energy you can save by just taking time to program your thermostat so that you’re not wasting precious heat at night or when you’re not even at home. While you’re at it, try setting the temperature just a few degrees lower than you’re used to, and see if your family can adjust (hey, you can always turn it back up if you need to).

Tip #5: Install a smart home system

Of course, you don’t have to go through quite as much trouble to program your thermostat if you invest in a smart home energy system. These can be quite inexpensive and easy to install, and they will allow you to control your energy consumption remotely. So if you forgot to turn the heat down, no problem: you can take care of that on your phone, from wherever you are.

Tip #6: Let the sunshine in

If you get a sunny day, open up the blinds and curtains and allow the natural heat to do its magic.

Tip #7: Use a space heater or electric fireplace

If you’re only using a small area of your house, warming up with a newer model space heater can save you from having to use the central heat.

Tip #8: Wear a sweater

When all else fails, your mother was right. If your home is just a tad chilly, try bundling up or wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket instead of turning up the heat that one or two degrees.

For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.

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Are You Fire Safety Smart?

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“Burn, baby, burn” may have packed the dance floor during the days of disco, but those words are anything but a good time when it comes to your home and property.  

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Agency has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week during the week of October 9 in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire. The devastation of that fire alone claimed the lives of 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in America. Source 

The NFPA estimates that there are an average of 353,100 home structure fires in America each year, resulting in an estimated $7.2 billion in property damages. As an insurance company, it’s our job to be there for our policyholders on some of the worst days of their lives, but we believe it’s equally important to be there every day of the year to help prevent those bad days from ever happening in the first place. 

In honor of National Fire Prevention Week, we’ve pulled together tips to help you avoid a fire and prepare and protect your property. 

GENERAL 

Plan & practice.

Make a home fire escape plan with your family — and practice it. The NFPA has a great guide to get you started. 

Know the right tool for the job.

Store a fire extinguisher on every level of your home and make sure everyone in your family knows where they are located and how to use them. Look for extinguishers with an ABC rating, which are usable for all types of fires. Bonus tip: If you’re staying somewhere like an Airbnb, be sure to ask your host where the extinguishers are located. House fires are not limited to your house. 

Change your batteries when you change your clocks.

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Change your smoke alarm batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings in the spring and autumn. Check out the NFPA’s smoke alarm guide for great advice on everything from proper installation to testing. 

Embrace “out with the old.” 

Did you know that smoke alarms don’t last forever?  You should replace your smoke alarms entirely every ten years. Yep, even if they are still working. 

Light the night right.
Power outages are never fun, but did you know that they can quickly turn dangerous? The culprit: candles. Candles are responsible for an estimated 15,600 residential fires and 150 deaths each year, often when being used during a power outage. Keep a flashlight and batteries on hand for emergencies instead of using candles for emergency lighting. Be sure to test your flashlights and batteries regularly so they’re ready to glow when you need them. Source

HOME & COOKING SAFETY

Tune into what you’re doing & tune out the distractions. 

Imagine the scene: You’re deep into the latest Netflix docuseries when the vague aroma of something burning wafts into the room and you realize you’ve completely forgotten about the pot of food you left simmering on the stove. We’ve all been there. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires — and unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires. One of the best ways to avoid a kitchen fire is to stay alert and tuned in to what you’re doing while cooking. Minimizing little distractions that cause you to lose track of time can have a huge impact. 

Don’t be a turkey when it comes to fire safety. 

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas Eve. With houseguests, tight timelines, packed to-do lists and alcohol in the mix, it’s easier than ever to get distracted while holiday hosting. In addition, frying is a leading culprit behind cooking fires. If you’re craving a fried turkey this Thanksgiving, consider leaving it to the pros and taking a pass on the dangers of the DIY experience! Source

Create a safe space.

Keep outdoor grills, cookers and fryers at minimum of three feet away from your home, patio furniture, shrubbery and other combustibles. In addition to reducing fire risks, your vinyl siding will thank you. 

Don’t get burned by your heat source. 

Have your chimney, fireplace, wood stove and central furnace serviced regularly to ensure everything is in safe working condition before you start it up for the season.

COMMERCIAL 

Educate your employees. 

Practicing a fire evacuation plan with your employees increases the likelihood things will go smoothly in the event of an actual fire. Be sure to show everyone where fire alarms, extinguishers and exits are located. 

Light the way. 

In the event of a fire, smoke can quickly fill a space and obscure vision. Lighted exit signs and floor lights installed along major walkways make it easier to locate a safe path of escape, especially if you are forced to crawl to avoid smoke inhalation. 

Keep it clear.  

Clutter and debris can quickly become a workplace safety hazard, especially during a fire. A tidy office is a safe office. Ensure that walkways are kept clear at all times. This is especially critical around exits and any area that offers access to safety equipment like fire alarms and extinguishers. 

Purge your papers.

Lower your fire risk by purging old papers that are no longer needed. This is a simple way to reduce the amount of combustible material present in your workplace. 

Looking for more tips on fire safety? Visit the NFAP at nfpa.org.

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Cybersecurity 101 | Central Insurance

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a national effort to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that Americans have access to the resources they need to be more secure online. 

Whether you’re a small business engaged in online marketing or simply utilizing services like Instagram and Facebook in your personal life, cybersecurity is relevant to all of us. We recently sat down with Garrett Laman, a Developer Intern at Central, to learn more.  

In this article, we dig into the basics of cybersecurity. Check back next week for a follow-up post including tips on how to best protect your personal and business presence from cyber threats. 

What are the current hot topics in cybersecurity?

Consumer privacy and consumer data protection are huge right now. Several states are currently crafting legislation around these topics in response to consumers becoming increasingly concerned with how much data they’re providing to businesses and how that data is secured. We see this reflected in the CCPA in California and the GDPR in Europe, two legislative pieces that aim to protect consumer privacy. We’re going to continue seeing this type of legislation grow in the coming years.

Another hot topic is the death of passwords. Microsoft and other big players in tech have realized that passwords are a weak link in terms of security. They are looking into alternatives that use biometric factors like fingerprints and retinal scans, as well as physical options like hardware keys.

What is the biggest misconception people have about cybersecurity?

Without a doubt, it is people thinking they are not a target because they’re not famous or wealthy. The reality could not be further from the truth. Information like your date of birth, social security number, address, phone number, relatives, etc. has a price on the dark web – and people will pay for it. Unfortunately, your personal information will always be valuable to somebody, so you should always consider yourself a target.

This also applies to small businesses. As a mom-and-pop shop, you may not think that you have anything worth hacking. Again, that couldn’t be further from reality. There is always a financial incentive for somebody to attack you, even if you don’t have a lot of money and won’t be considered a high-profile hack. Hackers know that small businesses typically don’t have a lot of cybersecurity resources in place, which makes them low-effort, low-risk, low-hanging fruit.

Can you give us an example of what it looks like when things go wrong for business when it comes to cybersecurity?  

A small government contracting firm was notified that their data was being auctioned off on the dark web. It turned out to be a database tied to government facilities — the last kind of thing you would want leaked. Through their internal investigation, they found that the root cause of the leak was a senior executive who clicked on a malicious email attachment. Within a few hours, all their data was siphoned off to someone who sold it on the dark web. The Secret Service ended up getting involved, as did a bunch of forensics consulting firms. Ultimately, it resulted in over $1 million in damages, in addition to several days of lost business. All it took was one little click.

How should businesses talk to their customers about data protection?

Transparency is key, and small businesses should readily display and disclose how they’re using consumer data. Provide mechanisms for people to opt out of anything they’ve signed up for, like email lists. Make it easy for your customers to self-delete their account entirely, if they so choose. Report data breaches immediately. These simple things go far in instilling faith that your company cares about personal privacy and data protection.

Ready to learn how to better protect yourself? Stay tuned for the second part in our cybersecurity series: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats.

The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.

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Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats

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Last week, we shared the scoop on current issues in cybersecurity. In this article, we’re arming you with the knowledge to avoid falling victim to cyber attacks and threats. Since many cybersecurity issues arise from the “human factor,” educating yourself is one of the best steps you can take to protect both your personal and business presence. 

What are a few things you recommend people do to better protect themselves when it comes to cybersecurity?

  • Use a password manager. One of the biggest downfalls people have with their personal security is reusing passwords and using weak passwords. The rationale for doing this is usually that it’s hard to remember a bunch of unique or complicated passwords to a bunch of different accounts. That’s where a password manager comes in. It’s essentially an encrypted password vault that stores all your passwords for you and offers functionality to generate secure passwords. By using a password manager, all you have to do is remember one password: the password to your vault where everything is stored. If I had to recommend one thing people can do to improve their security, this is it.  
  • Enable multi-factor authentication. This is the feature that requires you to verify login attempts via an app on your phone, text or email. Typically, you want to use strong multi-factor authentication over weak multi-factor authentication. That means using a multi-factor app like Microsoft or Google Authenticator in lieu of using email or text message multi-factor, simply due to the inherent vulnerabilities that exist in text messaging and email protocols. If everybody used multi-factor authentication and a password vault, there would be a huge reduction in cybercrime.
  • Minimize your digital footprint. Ideally, you want to have a very small online footprint. Attackers do something called “open-source intelligence” using your social media, which means they look at your social accounts in search of ways to exploit you. They figure out what you’ve been doing, where you’ve been going, what your interests are, who your family is, then use that data to scam you or attack you. Lock down your social media channels and limit access to people you know and trust.  

The other aspect of your digital footprint is essentially every website beyond social media. The more websites you provide information to, the more likely someone may be negligent with that information and leak it to an attacker. Being mindful about who you give your information to goes a long way in making sure that your data stays out of the wrong hands.

What are some best practices businesses can employ to better protect themselves from cyber threats?

  • Limit privileged access. If someone doesn’t need privileged access, they shouldn’t have it. Only give the necessary permissions that an employee needs to do their job. This ensures that if one account is compromised only a subset of your network is at risk rather than the entire thing. Also, if you have employees who are no longer at the company, make sure that you disable those accounts. You may also want to preemptively disable employee accounts when someone gives their two-week notice.
  • Backup everything. If your business gets hit by malware or ransomware, having backups secured and off your network is a saving grace. If your computers and data get locked and encrypted as part of a ransom, you may be able to pull your backups and essentially rebuild without paying the ransom. Only around 8% of companies who pay the ransom get their data back. It’s safer and smarter to have backups, test them regularly and know how to restore everything should you ever find yourself in that situation.
  • Get educated and stay aware. Going back to the government contractor story shared above, 70-90% of all cybercrime starts with social engineering or phishing attacks, and a staggering amount of that is attributed to the human factor. Do your due diligence by educating your employees about user awareness. Check out Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency (CISA) for a great resource.  
  • Stay up to date on updates. Around 20 to 40% of cyberattacks are made possible by outdated software. You can easily avoid becoming a statistic by ensuring that your software is updated. Make someone on your team accountable for regularly auditing your systems and updating as necessary.
  • Have a plan in place. Most small businesses typically don’t have an incident response plan in place. If they were to be attacked or have a data leak, it would likely take some time to formulate a plan on how to proceed. Before an attack happens, sit down with IT and your business leadership to map out an incident response and continuity plan outlining exactly what to do and assigning responsibilities for different aspects of your post-attack business. This is something nobody wants to think about happening, but it is extremely important that you know what to do if and when it does.

Interested in more? Learn about Central’s Cyber Protection & Coverage

Central writes both personal and commercial cyber coverage. 

On the personal side, we offer identity recovery insurance, which covers the costs incurred in the event that your identity is stolen. Personal cyber coverage offers protection against things like cyberbullying, including the costs of psychological support, or getting hacked. Learn more about both here. Central’s Cyber Suite Coverage is a great option for businesses that maintain data on clients or employees. It covers everything from data compromise response expenses to cyber extortion, data compromise liability to identity recovery. Learn more about Cyber Suite here.

The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.

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Cyber Resilience: The Best Plan for When the Worst Happens

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As cyber risks evolve and become more threatening in scope, they come at an increasing cost to both the public and private sectors. The past two years have seen several significant cybersecurity incidents. In 2020, the Solar Winds hack breached several federal government agencies. JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, suffered a cyberattack that disabled its facilities unless they paid a ransom. What can you learn from these attacks and how to adapt cybersecurity strategies for your business? 

Even with great practices and policies in place, it may not be possible to prevent every cyber attack. This is where resilience comes into play. Resilience isn’t about stopping every cyber attack. Instead, it’s how you position your company to successfully navigate the aftermath of a cyber attack. The right cyber resilience strategy empowers businesses to manage and recover from cyber attacks quickly, smoothly and confidently, minimizing business loss while managing a worst-case scenario. 

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) has an extensive free, public cybersecurity archive that offers trusted advice, tips and tools for managing cyber risks.

After reading the first two parts of our Cybersecurity series, Part 1: Cybersecurity 101 and Part 2: Protecting Your Business from Cyber Threats, we hope you’re feeling inspired to keep learning more about how you can prepare, plan ahead and protect your company. We’ve put together a list of trusted resources, tools and articles to support you as you take next steps to better secure your business from cyber threats. 

CISA’s YouTube channel also provides a wealth of helpful videos on a range of cybersecurity topics. 

Full elimination of cyber risk is not a realistic option for any enterprise. By embracing a resilience strategy, businesses prepare for a cyber attack and position themselves to recover as quickly and effectively as possible in the event the worst happens. Not every business will have the resources to implement all of these steps, but implementing as many as possible is a good first step in protecting your business. 

Interested in learning about cyber coverage for your business?
Central’s Cyber Suite Coverage is a great option for businesses that maintain data on clients or employees. It covers everything from data compromise response expenses to cyber extortion, data compromise liability to identity recovery. Learn more about Cyber Suite here.

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Alex Plotkin is a Commercial Staff Underwriter based in Central’s Southwest Regional Office.

Source:
Associated Press ‘Meatpacker JBS expects ‘vast majority’ of its plants to be open Wednesday, after cyberattack’ https://www.marketwatch.com/story/meatpacker-jbs-hit-by-cyberattack-affecting-north-american-australian-operations-11622558599 June 1, 2021

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