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Technology touches just about everything we do. And although it improves the way we communicate, collaborate and transact, its downside is that hackers and cyber-thieves will continue to do what they do best – find new opportunities of weakness to gain access to your online world in order to inflict damage to either your reputation, your data, or your bank account.

As many of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, technology and staying ‘connected’ has become much more prominent, leaving our homes and families considerably more exposed to inherent cyber risks that most of us haven’t faced before.

Australians are accessing the internet from home in record numbers, it has caused up to an 80% increase in demand. 

Many of the daily tasks we used to do offline – banking, shopping, reading the news, and even socialising – we now do online. Our smartphones now also have the capability to operate basic household items, such as our TV, sound system, doorbell, security system and even our home lighting and heating. Our dependence on the internet, and the exponential growth of web-enabled devices and social media, has provided fertile ground for criminal activity and antisocial behaviour.

Online shopping order volume has increased 49% since April 2020. 

PERSONAL CYBER INSURANCE POLICY 

To help combat this threat, Midland can now offer a stand-alone personal cyber insurance policy to help combat the growing threat of cyber-attacks on individuals while at home. Its purpose is to provide you and your family with a little added peace of mind and the confidence in knowing that you’re covered should you fall victim to a cyber-attack. 

This Personal Cyber Insurance product covers you across a broad spectrum of cybercrime events, and also includes attacks specifically related to social media. Its key features include: 

  • Malware 
  • Viruses 
  • Cyber espionage 
  • Denial of service attacks 
  • Cyber theft 
  • Identity theft 
  • Cyber-bullying 
  • Cyber-stalking 
  • Cyber-harassment 

There are around 148 cybercrimes on individuals and small to medium businesses each day in Australia, equating to a total loss of $890,000, or $328M annually.

The power of insurance if a criminal steals your identity means being covered for any potential direct financial losses (which average around $4,000 per person). But it also prevents any indirect repercussions, such as damage to your reputation, your brand or your business, as well as any productivity loss and emotional harm. 
 
Below are the top tactics that hackers and cyber-thieves might use to gain access to your data and/or identity: 

  • Credential stuffing – stealing one password and applying it to other websites that you might use. 
  • E-skimming – malware that infects online checkout pages to steal payment and personal information. 
  • Phishing – a fake email masquerading as legitimate. 
  • Malware – Trojans (monitoring your activities remotely); Keylogging (records your keystrokes on your keyboard); Spyware (hides in the background and tracks everything you do online). 
  • Malicious mobile apps – malicious code within apps that can install malware on your device. 
  • Social media data scraping – personal information taken from social media profiles in order to steal your identity or pretend to be you online. 

Identity theft attacks are more common than you think, affecting more people than any other crime, with 22% of Australians falling victim at some point in their lives. 

In addition to investing in a personal cyber insurance policy, there are a few other things you can put in place to ensure you remain ‘cyber smart’. These include: 

  • Use a licensed anti-virus program. 
  • Use a password manager (e.g. lastpass.com) to keep your individual passwords unique, complex and secure. 
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication across your devices – you can enable this option within the settings for programs like iCloud, Microsoft365, Outlook and Gmail. 
  • Use a trusted WIFI network. 
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 

Identity theft costs each victim an average of $3,696. 

For more information click here. 

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