Insurance Blog

Data Breaches. Malware. Hacking.

Recently cyber attacks are always in the news, and no one is immune.Shocking statistics reveal this ever-present and expanding problem has serious consquences for all business organizations. Baldwin / Welsh & Parker Insurance gladly shares these tips to protect your business from this devastating threat.

According to a recent Paychex blog, "Experts uniformly agree that educating employees about the threats of data breaches and cyber theft is a critical step in protecting your company's invaluable data. But while most small businesses understand the need for a comprehensive data security program, many still believe hackers are only interested in going after big companies, and therefore may not take all the precautions that they should. In fact, statistics compiled by the National Cyber Security Alliance paint a disturbing portrait of small business vulnerability:

  • Almost 50 percent of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack.
  • More than 70 percent of attacks target small businesses.
  • More than 75 percent of employees leave their computers unsecured.
  • As many as 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses that experience a data breach go out of business after six months.

A breach or attack can result in a significant loss of income, particularly if the small business involved lacks cyber liability insurance. If news of the breach goes public, the damage to the business's brand may be insurmountable."

In addition to a hacker getting into your system, data theft can occur if an employee’s computer is stolen, or if an unauthorized person is able to access a computer in your office. It could even be a disgruntled employee who carries out data theft. Any business that collects and stores sensitive information from customers, including credit card information, contact information, credit information, social security numbers, medical information, etc. is at risk for data theft.

Here are a few tips to reduce your risks for cyber attacks and data theft of sensitive customer information: 

  • Change the passwords you and your employees use to log into your technology systems on a regular basis
  • Avoid emailing sensitive information, but if you do, use a secured email service
  • Have employees lock their computer screens when they step away from their desks
  • Avoid having unescorted/unsupervised visitors walking through your office
  • Don’t open strange email attachments or click unusual links in emails, especially from an unknown sender as they may be scams
  • Have a written technology policy in place so that all of your employees understand the expectations and rules guiding how your business handles sensitive data
  • Consider Cyber Liability insurance

Loss of electronic data is not covered under most commercial theft policies because it is not a tangible asset, and most general liability policies also exclude coverage for your costs to notify customers of potential data theft, pay for the costs of investigating the loss or the costs of potential fines, penalties or lawsuits that result from a failure to protect the data. A cyber liability policy can provide your business with coverage that will help you cover several costs, including the expenses to inform your customers and regulatory authorities about the possible exposure of data.

To protect your small business from these exposures, consider a Cyber Liability Policy. Our Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agents at Baldwin / Welsh & Parker can help you identify the risks your business faces from data theft, and can help you identify a policy to cover those exposures.

 

Gather Emergency Supplies

Here's a terrific checklist from the CDC. If a disaster strikes in your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. You may think that you will have enough time to run to the grocery store, but stores quickly sell out of important supplies following emergency warnings. Unfortunately, about half of adults in the United States do not have the resources and plans in place for a possible emergency. Preparing emergency kits for your family is an important step in keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster.

Pack an emergency supply kit. Here's what you'll need:

At Least a 3-day Supply of Food and Water

  • Water - one gallon per person, per day
  • Food - foods that are easy to make and won't spoil, like canned soup, dry pasta, and powdered milk
  • Manual can opener
  • Basic utensils to prepare and serve meals

Health Supplies

  • 3-day supply of all medicines, at a minimum
  • Medical supplies like syringes, a walking cane, or hearing aids with extra batteries

Personal Care Items

  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby wipes
  • Contact lenses or glasses

Safety Supplies

  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket
  • Multipurpose tool (that can act as a knife, file, pliers, and screwdriver)
  • Whistle

Electronics:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides weather updates during emergencies. Look for a radio labeled "NOAA Weather Radio."
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (battery-powered, solar, or hand-crank) for updates on the situation
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Extra batteries

Documents

	Map, cash, key, and copies of important documents

Keep copies of your important documents, cash, spare keys, and maps in you emergency supply kit.

  • Copies of important documents such as insurance cards and immunization records
  • Paperwork about any serious or on-going medical condition
  • Your completed family emergency plan, complete with family and emergency contact information.

You should also keep

  • Extra cash
  • Maps of the area
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys

Taking Care of Others

You may need additional supplies to make sure the whole family is ready.

For Children

  • Baby supplies like bottles, formula, baby food, and diapers
  • Games and activities for children

For Pets

	A wet dog on a floatation device with a bag of supplies on a flooded street.

Plan ahead so you’re ready to take care of your pet during an emergency.

  • Food and Water:
    • A 3-day supply of food and water for each pet. A cat or a dog will generally need 1 gallon for three days.
    • Bowls or bottles
    • Manual can opener
  • Cleaning Supplies:
    • Depending on the pet, you may need a litter box, paper towels, plastic trash bags, grooming items, and household bleach
  • Health and Safety:
    • Medicines and medical records stored in a waterproof container
    • First aid kit with a pet first aid book
  • Transport supplies:
    • A sturdy leash, harness, and carrier to transport pets safely. A carrier should be large enough for the animal to stand comfortably, turn around, and lie down. Your pet may have to stay in the carrier for several hours.
  • Comfort Items:
    • Pet toys and the pet's bed, if you can easily bring it, to reduce stress
  • Paperwork:
    • Current photos and descriptions of your pets to help others identify them, and to prove that they are your pets, in case you become separated from them
    • Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and telephone number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care

Keep these tips in mind!

	A storage box of emergency supplies including a first aid kit, flashlight, water bottles, and crackers.

Check and replace your supplies throughout the year.

Personalize

Every family is unique. You may have emergency needs not included in this list. Also, remember to update your kit according to changing needs of your family.

Be sure it's ready to use

In a disaster situation, you may need to get your emergency supply kit quickly, whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating.

  • Once you have gathered your supplies, pack the items in easy-to-carry containers.
  • Clearly label the containers and store them where you can reach them easily.
  • Remember that certain items, like medications and paper documents, need to be kept in waterproof containers.

Keep it Fresh

Check the expiration dates on food, water, medicine, and batteries at least two times per year. It's extremely important that all items in your kit are functional at the time of an emergency.

Involve Children

Families can make emergencies less stressful by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Ready Wrigley can help!

  • Ask your kids to think of items that they would like to include in an emergency supply kit, such as books, games, and pre-packaged foods.
  • Your kids can mark the dates on a calendar for checking emergency supplies. Tell them to remind you when it's time to check the supplies.
  • Include kids in planning and creating disaster kits for family pets.

Know Your House

Find out where your gas, electric, and water shut-off locations are, and how to turn them off.

Prepare For Everywhere

Emergencies can happen anywhere. Remember to prepare supplies for home, work, and vehicles.

More information:

  • Emergency water supply
  • Emergency food supply
  • Pet Emergency Checklist

Crushed. Cracked. Lost. Stolen. Protecting Your Child's Electronic Devices!

Crushed by books. Cracked when dropped while running for the school bus. Lost in the piles and excitement of the first weeks of school. Stolen in the middle of the school day. As students return to school, repairing or replacing their everyday technology can be expensive.

Missing and damaged equipment--laptops, smartphones, iPads--create a lot of headaches, not only for their physical replacement cost, but also for relevant content that is stored on these devices.

One in ten laptops are stolen or lost in the course of their service. In addition, according to Consumer Reports, 3.1 million smart phones were stolen last year. And, a SquareTrade Study finds that damaged iPhones have cost Americans $5.9 billion since 2007 with accidental damage more common than loss or theft.

Top Laptop Loss

  • 70 million are lost annually
  • One laptop is lost every 53 seconds
  • 47% lost off-site
  • 29% are lost in transit

Top 5 Cell Phone Accident Scenarios

  • Fell out of my hand: 30%
  • Immersed in liquid: 18%
  • Fell out of my lap: 13%
  • Knocked off a table: 11%
  • Liquid spilled on it: 9%

Here are some tips to keep your child's laptop, smartphone, iPad or other electronic gizmos (and yours!) safe.

Insurance. Speak to your Baldwin / Welsh & Parker agent for information on coverage and alternative ways to insure your electronic devices.

Be Prepared! Cases and Backup Content! Invest in specially made cases that reduce the impact of falling and/or water. Make sure you make you and your child take the time to back up your device's content.

Identification. Use both high tech and low tech options to identify your device. A simple sticker with your name and contact information can reunite lost equipment with the owner. Electronic tracking systems can also be implemented that will help you find or protect your telephone's contents.

Consequences and Education. It is important to communicate with your child and come up with the consequences for lost, stolen, or damaged equipment. Make sure your son or daughter understand how much it costs to replace or repair the equipment in question. Take them to the store or to a repair shop and show them first hand. And if the worst happens? Will you ground them? Have them work to pay off the replacement costs? What are the solutions you and your family come up with?

Read more here! 

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Waltham, MA - 781-890-3740

Hudson, MA - 978-562-5652

Wayland, MA - 508-358-5383

Winthrop, MA - 617-846-0731

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