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advisors
© JGI/Tom Grill
Sep 12, 2017

Are you “sharing” too much?

If you belong to a family with substantial or even moderate wealth, you may become a focus of the media, increasing the risk that you’ll be targeted by criminals.

Risks may include home robberies while you are away, identity theft, threats to your personal security and exposure to stalkers and sexual predators. Photos and articles about you and your family in social magazines, newspapers and social media sites will bring you into the public eye—and may convey personal and private information about your assets, family and business.

Social networking sites allow people to communicate and share information; however, the more information you post, the more vulnerable you become. When you post information to these sites, it is no longer private, and though you may have security settings designed to protect you, your online friends may leak information about you or post information that you feel is private. Social media predators are very adept at gleaning information from these sites.

Many businesses take advantage of social media as a valuable marketing tool, as well—to connect with clients and potential clients. Although your company policy may specify that customer data may not be obtained through social media channels, hackers can send out messages to your client base requesting passwords, social security numbers and credit card numbers. Because those clients are being contacted through your social media site, they may trust that the request is legitimate and provide the information.

Because clients are being contacted through your social media site, they may trust that the request is legitimate and provide the information.

Many forms of social media risk for businesses can be covered with cyber risk insurance. This insurance covers losses associated with mitigating the effect on clients who become victims of your compromised data. Time spent contacting your clients and advising them of the situation could increase your cost of doing business. Along with the embarrassment of dealing with the fallout, your service to clients may suffer. But proper insurance coverage can cover the costs associated with client notification and the time spent ensuring that websites or social media sites are risk-free.

Liability insurance can also be key in protecting you and your business. Great care should be taken to monitor your social media sites and websites. The person managing your sites should keep marketing messages positive and avoid mention of competitors or their products. You could be accused of defamation or libel if financial damages are caused to the company in question. Make sure your company has stringent guidelines and that employees with access to social media sites are trained in the proper use and protocols. Check with your insurance advisor to ascertain the limits of coverage for social media risks.

Predators take many forms; they may be business competitors, hackers or foreigners looking to extort money, steal corporate proprietary information or commit identity theft. In worst-case scenarios, they may even be sexual predators. Protect your families, assets and businesses with the proper insurance coverage designed to address your specific needs.

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