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Are Your Clients Secure?

Your clients trust you. Do you trust your clients? Specifically, do you trust their digital security? Problematic emails and viruses can come from just about anywhere, including your clients. How can you reduce the risks that might come to you from those insurance clients?

Don't Trust All Email From Those You Trust 

While you might have great clients, you can trust people in person but you can't always trust their emails. That's because your clients' computers could have been taken over by scams such as phishing emails that appear to be their email address, but are not. According to ZDNet, "A wave of cyberattacks is targeting organizations' financial departments with a social engineering and phishing campaign designed to trick victims into downloading credential-stealing malware and other threats."

For instance, you could be invited to click on a link in an email to take a look at an invoice or a change of address notice. If you click on this link, your computer could download its own virus and pass it on. If you do this, you could compromise your cybersecurity and that of your clients as well. 

Cybersecurity: Reducing the Risk to Your Insurance Agency

While it might seem like overkill to be suspicious of your emails, it's better to be suspicious than to have your own email address stolen. In an even worse scenario, you could accidentally install malware that sends your clients' information to other sources and causes a security breach. 

No one has enough hours in the day to be diligent with email, but that's what hackers are trying to exploit. Keep an ongoing list of security practices in your agency, and train your insurance employees to ensure that they slow down, read emails closely, and follow those security practices to avoid compromising your agency's security and the cybersecurity of your clients.

Your security measures could include guidelines such as:

  • Be suspicious of links in emails. Don't respond to them, and don't click on the link. Instead, hover over the link with the mouse to be certain that link is real and that it is the same in the text as it is when you hover over it. If you're worried about the link at all, don't click.

  • Don't click on an unsubscribe link if it looks like you're on a new and unwanted email list and you don't remember subscribing. 

  • If an email comes with a wonderful offer from a client that would help you at your insurance agency, don't automatically trust it and respond. Call that client and check first. 

  • Avoid placing details from your agency into pop-up windows that emerge when you go into your email. It's easy to create realistic-looking pop-ups that can steal your information.

  • Create email settings that prevent pictures from downloading until you know you can trust the sender's account.

Always Search for Viruses 

While you strive to be diligent, it's still possible that a virus could sneak through your employees' security practices. Make sure that your insurance agency employees know the signs of a virus. In addition to scanning your systems regularly, they should know these signs of a cyberattack: 

  • A mouse that doesn't move where you send it 

  • Strange pop-up windows or browser toolbars 

  • Your passwords don't work

  • Messages that come up on your screen to let you know that you need tech support or that it's found a virus

  • Slow operating and loading times 

  • A ransom note: according to CSO Online, this looks like "Malware that locks up your precious data and asks for a payment using online currency to get it back." 

It can be difficult to stay secure online, but the payback to your business and your clients is worth the effort.

At American Agents Alliance, we want to help you build a better insurance agency. Talk with us about our many membership benefits, including our E&O insurance.

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