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Protecting your family with personal cyber insurance

by Stephen Elliott
General Insurance Broker
January 13, 2023
2 min read

If you’re worried about your personal information being stolen in a hack or data breach, you should consider investing in personal identity theft protection through a personal cyber protection policy.

Every seven minutes. That’s how often a cyber crime was reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre during the 2021–22 financial year. This was an increase of 13% from the previous financial year.

Almost all Australians have now received an SMS, email or phone call that attempted to get them to hand over personal details or money. The recent Optus and Medibank data breaches in which thousands of Australians had their personal information stolen have heightened public consciousness of the threat of identity fraud. Information including names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, passport and Medicare numbers, and even healthcare claims were subsequently posted online in the past few months as a result of the high-profile breaches.

Today, technology is embedded in many facets of our everyday lives. Whether it’s how we communicate, purchase items or coordinate our family’s busy schedule, Australians are heavily reliant on technology. Most households also have a number of internet-enabled devices in the home (think smart TVs, gaming devices, phones, smart watches and exercise devices).

Our dependence on the internet, and the exponential growth of web-enabled devices and social media, have resulted in people being much more interconnected. And that’s introduced new risks into our homes and everyday lives that must be managed.

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What is personal cyber insurance?

Personal cyber insurance covers you, your family, your identity, your reputation, your money and your time (wage replacement) when a cyber event occurs.

Personal cyber insurance can cover you for the impact of cyber events and cyber crime such as:

  • Hacking, malware and viruses
  • Personal cyber crime
  • Identity theft.

Aside from the technical side of cyber threats, social media can become a platform for anti-social behaviour. This is why personal cyber insurance protection is essential to safeguard you from:

  • Cyber bullying
  • Cyberstalking
  • Cyber harassment.

The personal impact of having any of these cyber crimes occur can be very significant and long lasting. Personal cyber insurance protection can help mitigate the long term impacts.

Australian journalist Karen Maley recently wrote about her personal experience of having her identity stolen in the Australian Financial Review. She made an online purchase from a site she was unaware was insecure and hackers accessed her credit card details and made unauthorised purchases. She contacted the bank, which blocked the card and she thought that was the end of the matter.

But the hackers had also accessed her personal Hotmail account and, unaware of that, she emailed her driver’s licence to a real estate agent seeking ID for a property sale.

Once they had a credit card and a driver’s licence, the criminals proceeded to set up a string of buy now, pay later accounts in her name. She then started getting requests for payment and threats of debt collection from accounts she had never opened but were controlled by crooks borrowing funds in her name.

As a victim of fraud, the journalist contacted police, had to get a new driver’s licence, close her Hotmail account, and contact a credit bureau to ask for her credit file and request they block any further credit inquiries. She described the anguish of being “deeply entangled in this murky financial nightmare” which left her “bitter”.

“One of the most dispiriting aspects of this whole experience has been the abysmal asymmetry between the ease with which one can obtain a buy now, pay later loan, and the arduous and time-consuming process of disentangling oneself from their net,” Malay wrote.

The hackers had also accessed her personal Hotmail account and, unaware of that, she emailed her driver’s licence to a real estate agent seeking ID for a property sale.

How much does personal cyber insurance protection cost?

Premiums start from $99. Policy limits from $50,000 to $1,000,000 are available. For a free quotation on cyber insurance please contact us to speak to a broker.

Aren’t I covered by my business’s cyber insurance?

If you own a business, cyber insurance will cover everything from financial losses and cybersecurity support to legal advice and privacy breach management, but this won’t protect the rest of your family.

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